Guantanamo Tribunals Nixed by SCOTUS

Just breaking now….

Hamdan

The ruling, a rebuke to the administration and its aggressive anti- terror policies, was written by Justice John Paul Stevens, who said the proposed trials were illegal under U.S. law and Geneva conventions.

5-3 ruling. This will get interesting.

Comments

  1. Real Bad move Supreme Court. The Euroweenie Lefties are already snickering, rubbing their hands together and uttering their usual mantra to ‘human rights’. Time to give the detainees their belts and shoelaces back!

  2. From what I understand, they ruled that it was ok to detain them indefinitely, but not to try them for war crimes under a military tribunal. Actually, I don’t really have a problem with that (which may mean I don’t understand what’s going on). I mean, when we tried the Nazis for war crimes, it was with a civilian court, right?

  3. I’m some what enthused by it. It does say that we can intern these folks until the termination of active hostilities. It does invite Congress to create a trial mechanism. It does not exclude trials under the UCMJ. Call it, at worst, a draw. If the Republicans in Congress are smart, it can be used as a club on the Democrats as a trial mechanism proceeds through both houses. Who wouldn’t want to put bin Laden’s driver on trial, for example?

  4. Follow the Hague Convention to the letter. Execute the lot of them for being enemy combattants caught on the battlefield out of uniform.

  5. I probably may be missing the point, but, if the Supreme Court decided that Bush’s military trials are unconstitutional, but didn’t say anything about terms of imprisonment, isn’t that kinda of a good thing somewhat? Dfens is that true? (just ate at Bush’s favorite restaurant outside of DC)

  6. The ruling is good one. Basically a key point in the ruling reads. ‘Together, the UCMJ, the AUMF, and the DTA at most acknowledge a general Presidential authority to convene military commissions in circumstances where justified under the Constitution and laws, including the law of war. Absent a more specific congressional authorization, this Court’s task is, as it was in Quirin, to decide whether Hamdan’s military commission is so justified.’ Basically, Bush has the authority to set up Military Commissions (Tribunals) and absent a declaration of war, he can set up Military Commissions with the express consent of the Congress. However, he cannot set up Commissions without express consent of the Congress, nor set up Commissions that inheritly unconstitutional even with Congressional consent. Together, the UCMJ, the AUMF, and the DTA at most acknowledge a general Presidential authority to convene military commissions in circumstances where justified under the Constitution and laws, including the law of war. Absent a more specific congressional authorization, this Court’s task is, as it was in Quirin, to decide whether Hamdan’s military commission is so justified. The Commission rules that Bush was trying to defend were truly grotesque. ‘that an accused and his civilian counsel may be excluded from, and precluded from ever learning what evidence was presented during, any part of the proceeding the official who appointed the commission or the presiding officer decides to ‘close.’ Grounds for closure include the protection of classified information, the physical safety of participants and witnesses, the protection of intelligence and law enforcement sources, methods, or activities, and ‘other national security interests.’ With these kinds of rules why even have the farce of trial. Just shoot the bastard and be done with it. IMO – We do ourselves a diservice to create ‘trials’ straight out the KGB playbook.

  7. Quote Kristopher: ‘Follow the Hague Convention to the letter. Execute the lot of them for being enemy combattants caught on the battlefield out of uniform.’ Great idea!! May I suggest that the rest should be released, and let free to swimm… Florida is not so far away, isn’t it?

  8. The part of the decision I don’t like is where they cite ‘international law’, but on the other hand if you look at seperation of powers, the Congress makes the law and the Executive Branch enforces the law. In this case it was the Executive Branch both making and enforcing the law, and that was the only part I’m not comfortable with. I don’t give a damn about the ‘rights’ of the terrorists. I guess that’s what separates thinking people from Democrats.

  9. Dfens, I think the ‘international law’ the decision refers to is the Geneva/Hague Conventions which, ratified by Congress, have the application of law. I don’t think the Court meant the scary One-World type Kumbaya Laws, which make my skin crawl.

  10. Its real easy to condem a terrorist and ‘screw’em’ and their rights. The hard part is realizing, once you say we can toss the constitution on one class of people, it maks it real easy to toss other folks under the bus. Now once you say, that this is a limited reaction to a particular event. I would state, ‘How could someone who is innocent, defend themselves from charges, when they are not permitted to attend the trial, they or their lawyers are not permited to know what is the evidence against them.’ The next point would be, how can we say that we are a country of laws, when we are willing to toss out those laws when dealing with a dispized class of people. Terrorists are easy to hate. What is next – militia members? gangs? when do say, that the values we hold dear, are too valuable to be tossed out the window because we fear.

  11. A key point in the ruling was that Congress had already provided rules for conducting military commissions under the UCMJ but that that administration ignored those rules and tried to do something different. The President repeatedly has tried to argue that he can ignore Congressionally enacted (and Presidentially signed) laws governing detainees, even though the constitution expressly says that Congress can make rules for captures on land and water. Trying to ignore the existing Congressionally enacted rules for conducting military commissions and instead making up his own different rules was foolish and put effective military justice in these cases at risk.

  12. I must admit I don’t understand why they felt that these people had to have ‘special’ trials. I assume there is a reason. Does anybody know what it is?

  13. IMO – I think this is an issue where the administration was making it up as they went along. They first went with the enemy combatents rule – basically we keep them till hostilities cease. The the Supremes nix’ed that theory. So the administration went with the, make military tribunal theory. The problem the administration has – is once you put them under the UCMJ Article 21 with pro9vides for the prosecution of foreign nationals who violate that lawa of war – you open up a hornets nest of juridicational issues. Chiefly the law never contimplates warfare with a non-nation state. The net result you get issues like Hamdam’s being charged with Conspiracy. An offense that does not exist under the laws of war. Thus, the UCMJ article 21 would not apply – thus the case would be passed to the Federal courts. However, since the overt act was conducted outside of the federal courts jurisdiction, that case would most likely be dismissed. So long post short – Bush created these Miltary Tribunals to A) Generate a definition of a crime. B) Create a court with jurisdiction over the created crime. C)Establish rules in that court that would enable evil doers to be convicted of crimes while keeping maximum control over the data uses to convict the evil doer. The only problem is that under the constitution – only congress can create a court system.