habeas corpus is alive and well, barely
Mood: hopeful
Posted on 2008-06-12 16:37:00
Tags: essay politics
Words: 289

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.


Comment from destroyerj:

It's correct but probably not what you're looking for. You stated something about the marriage of one of his parents. If you want to talk about their collective marriage, you'd say Obama's parents' marriage.

Comment from gregstoll:

Damn, I thought because the marriage was singular I wouldn't want the apostrophe after the "s".

Comment from djedi:

No, you want it because the word 'parents' is plural.

Comment from djedi:

These right wing judges that make decisions solely on politics (esp Mr. Thomas) scare the bejesus out of me.

I really hope we have a dem president next and they all retire and we can put on some more reasonable judges. After reading the Earl Warren book which describes the court from 40's-60's, I understand now the anger of right wing people against the court. Basically from the 40's til the 90's, the court was solidly on the side of equal treatment, civil rights and freedom, esp individuals over those of corporations. The right wing is tired of those sorts of decisions and has been trying to stack the court since Reagan. Unf, over time, they are slowly succeeding. If we lose one more respectable jurist and instead get a right-wing political hack, and kiss a lot of your protections and rights goodbye. They'll slow be eaten away.

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