|habeas corpus is alive and well, barely
||[Jun. 12th, 2008|04:37 pm]
Today the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of habeas corpus for detainees/enemy combatants, which means that people held at Guantanamo have the right to challenge their detention in a civilian court (as opposed to a military tribunal where defendants can't have a lawyer or see all of the evidence against them). This, to me, seems like a huge step towards rolling back all the Orwellian things that have taken place in the US recently. Here are some excerpts from the decision.
The 5-4ness of the decision is a little more frightening - unsurprisingly Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito were the dissenters. And, from the article:
Three of the five Justices in the majority -- John Paul Stevens (age 88), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (age 75) and David Souter (age 68) -- are widely expected by court observers to retire or otherwise leave the Court in the first term of the next President. By contrast, the four judges who dissented -- Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Sam Alito -- are expected to stay right where they are for many years to come.
John McCain has identified Roberts and Alito as ideal justices of the type he would nominate, while Barack Obama has identified Stephen Breyer, David Souter and Ginsberg (all in the majority today). It's not hyperbole to say that, from Supreme Court appointments alone, our core constitutional protections could easily depend upon the outcome of the 2008 election.
Just a reminder that who we elect in November can make a huge difference to the future of our country.
Unrelatedly, happy Loving Day! (thanks for the reminder, amorphousplasma!) Someone pointed out that were it not for this decision, Barack Obama's parent's marriage (is that correct apostrophication?) would have been illegal in 16 states.