Thursday, June 12, 2008

SCOTUS Rules for Gitmo Detainees (Again)

Via the Washington Post:

The Supreme Court today rebuked the Bush administration for a third time for its handling of the rights of terrorism detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying those in custody there have a constitutional right to challenge their captivity in federal courts.

By a 5 to 4 vote that brought strongly worded and remorseful dissents from the court’s conservative justices, the majority held that an alternative procedure designed by the administration and Congress was inadequate to insure that the detainees, some of whom have been imprisoned for six years without a hearing, receive their day in court.

“The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote. “Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the framework of the law.”

Justice Antonin Scalia took the unusual step of reading his dissent from the bench, calling the court’s decision a “self-invited... incursion into military affairs,” and was even stronger in a written dissent joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.