The Economist com reports:
(Full article: http://www.economist.com/agenda/displaystory.cfm?story_id=2855748
- free registration required)
Terror suspects freed from legal limbo
Jun 29th 2004
America's Supreme Court has dealt a potentially embarrassing blow to the Bush administration by ruling that the prisoners at Guantánamo Bay and an American citizen held in a military jail have a right to challenge their detention
AMERICA'S Supreme Court has tilted the balance between security and liberty slightly back towards liberty. On Monday June 28th it published three rulings which amount to a serious defeat for the Bush administration over its policy of detaining suspects in its war on terrorism. First, the prisoners at America's military base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba have the right to petition against their detention. Second, the court ruled that Yaser Hamdi, an American citizen captured by troops in Afghanistan, may not be detained indefinitely as an "enemy combatant" without any opportunity to face a court. And third, the court told José Padilla, another American citizen, the so-called "dirty bomber", that he had taken the case of his detention to the wrong court - but could try again in another..........
The government had held that a court decision dating back to the end of the second world war - known as the Eisentrager ruling - gave it essentially limitless rights in handling foreign prisoners without interference from American courts. But in the Eisentrager case, involving Germans captured in China, the prisoners were told the charges against them, then lost their cases before a military commission and were jailed in Germany. By contrast, the Guantánamo detainees have not been told of any charges against them, much less had a chance to answer them. Three judges dissented against the majority decision to give Guantánamo detainees access to the courts, all conservatives (William Rehnquist, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia). Mr Scalia wrote for the dissenters that the court has created a "breathtaking" right for foreigners captured on foreign soil to bring the "cumbersome machinery" of American domestic courts into military affairs.
What do you think of this decision?
What do you think of scalia's words?