Adam Liptak's Week in Review article this past Sunday made the whole SCOTUS decision of last week seem like much more of an effective smackdown. I also talked with Mr. Blue Gal, a fine legal mind in his own right, and he pointed out this:
The point in requiring a court martial trial for the Guantanamo prisoners, is that appeals will have to be heard by the federal courts, up to the Supremes. That's how court martials are appealed now. And if Bushco goes to Congress and asks for some different court structure, they will have to ante up about where the appeals will go. Congress, even bending over to take it up the butt from Bush, is unlikely to have the creativity to come up with an entirely different appeals structure. The fascist legal eagles behind this were hoping no one would notice this whole appeals thing, and that they could let the prisoners rot, convict 'em whenever, and then let 'em rot some more. SCOTUS said, "not on our watch, and especially not on our turf." Mr. Blue Gal says that often times what's really going on in SCOTUS decisions is the court is simply reinforcing itself as that third branch of government. Not that between the jerks in Congress and the White House it's hard to see that branch as being number three sometimes.
Mr. Blue Gal says he is actually not surprised by this decision, because it defends the institutional integrity of the federal courts.
NYFT, quoting Bush's Guantanamo architect John C. Woo, said pretty much the same thing:
The court has just declared that it's going to be very intrusive in the war on terror. They're saying, 'We're going to treat this more like the way we supervise the criminal justice system.'
Well, gee. Welcome to the war, SCOTUS. Keep your eyes on that Constitution thingy, too.
One other thing that made me feel better is yesterday's oped by Kristof (who, I think, has a baby, but my aging ovaries are available anyway, Nick.)
...the one thing worse than a press that is 'out of control' is one that is under control. Anybody who has lived in a Communist country knows that. Just consider what would happen if the news media as a whole were as docile to the administration as Fox News or The Wall Street Journal editorial page.
Woo hoo! Well, looks like Blue Gal will be usin' the image below plenty in the next few...