And it will resurrect and create a plethora of judicial jihad cases that will tie up thousands of hours and millions of dollars. What is this about violating the Constitutional rights of people who are not American citizens? Apparently the U.S. Constitution applies to everyone in the world now. “High Court ruling may delay war crimes trials,” by Mark Sherman for Associated Press, June 12 (thanks to all who sent this in):
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay may challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.
In its third rebuke of the Bush administration’s treatment of prisoners, the court ruled 5-4 that the government is violating the constitutional rights of prisoners being held indefinitely and without charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. The court’s liberal justices were in the majority.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said, “The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.”
Kennedy said federal judges could ultimately order some detainees to be released, but that such orders would depend on security concerns and other circumstances.
President Bush was unhappy with the ruling. “We’ll abide by the court’s decision. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with it,” the president said during a press conference in Rome. “It was a deeply divided court, and I strongly agree with those who dissented.”
Bush also said he would consider whether to seek new laws in light of the ruling “so we can safely say to the American people, ‘We’re doing everything we can to protect you.'”
It was not immediately clear whether this ruling, unlike the first two, would lead to prompt hearings for the detainees, some of whom have been held more than 6 years. Roughly 270 men remain at the island prison, classified as enemy combatants and held on suspicion of terrorism or links to al-Qaida and the Taliban.
The ruling could resurrect many detainee lawsuits that federal judges in Washington put on hold pending the outcome of the high court case. The decision sent judges, law clerks and court administrators scrambling to read Kennedy’s 70-page opinion and figure out how to proceed. Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth said he would call a special meeting of federal judges to address how to handle the cases….
The lawyer for Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s one-time driver, said he will seek dismissal of the charges against Hamdan based on Thursday’s ruling. A military judge had already delayed the trial’s start to await the high court ruling….
In dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts criticized his colleagues for striking down what he called “the most generous set of procedural protections ever afforded aliens detained by this country as enemy combatants.”
Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas also dissented.
Scalia said the nation is “at war with radical Islamists” and that the court’s decision “will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.”