Friday, June 30, 2006

Quotes of the day: Justice Stevens explains our Chimpy's abuse of power so that even he could "get it" if he wanted (and the dissenting justices too)


"The executive is bound to comply with the rule of law that prevails in this jurisdiction."
—Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, "at the end of a 73-page opinion that in sober tones shredded each of the administration's arguments," as Linda Greenhouse puts it in today's New York Times

In voicing my dread yesterday of the gathering force of the Roberts-Alito-Scalia-Thomas bloc on the Supreme Court, I didn't mean to minimize the significance of the truly historic ruling that the administration had no authority to establish its inquisitorial military tribunals, that it broke U.S. law and violated Geneva accords that are legally binding on the U.S., and that the Court has the authority, indeed the obligation to stop it. For those of us who have been watching this administration trash the U.S. Constitution for going on six years, there has never been any question about the flagrant illegality and unconstitutionality of virtually everything these people have done. The only question was when someone with the authority would blow the whistle.

So while my dread for the future remains undiminished, I think for this one day, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

And in case anyone was wondering what it means to say that we live in a country of laws, which even the president isn't above, let's give the final word to Navy Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift, the lawyer for Salim Ahmed Hamdan, the Afghani plaintiff in this case, who phoned his client news of the Court's ruling:

"I think he was awe-struck that the court would rule for him, and give a little man like him an equal chance. Where he's from, that's not true."

After all that the Bush administration has done to support and spread terrorism all over the world, the Supreme Court stood tall yesterday and delivered a powerful message to terrorists as to what they're really up against. An America that truly practices the values we were taught the country is supposed to stand for is a real enemy of terrorism.


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