he Washington Post
details the effects Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
may have on the Bush administration’s lack of respect for the balance of power in US government.
For five years, President Bush waged war as he saw fit. If intelligence officers needed to eavesdrop on overseas telephone calls without warrants, he authorized it. If the military wanted to hold terrorism suspects without trial, he let it.
Now the Supreme Court has struck at the core of his presidency and dismissed the notion that the president alone can determine how to defend the country. In rejecting Bush's military tribunals for terrorism suspects, the high court ruled that even a wartime commander in chief must govern within constitutional confines significantly tighter than this president has believed appropriate.
For many in Washington, the decision echoed not simply as a matter of law but as a rebuke of a governing philosophy of a leader who at repeated turns has operated on the principle that it is better to act than to ask permission. This ethos is why many supporters find Bush an inspiring leader, and why many critics in this country and abroad react so viscerally against him.
As of right now, the judicial branch is performing its duty, acting as a check on the Executive. That vote, 5-3 (Roberts’ vote would have made it 5-4), really shows the danger of another Bush SCOTUS appointment. Another Bushite judge would flip that 5-4, and leave the Executive basically unchecked by the Judiciary.
Midterm elections are very important. Leaving the Republicans in charge would surely lead to more blank Executive checks. I think that the country is on the border right now between completely changing its governing philosophy and upholding its constitutional values.Past Posts
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Tags:Supreme Court War Tribunals Enemy Combatants Military Commissions SCOTUS Hamdan v. Rumsfield