Thursday, June 12, 2008

Habeas Corpus Lives!

Supreme Court backs Guantanamo detainees (msnbc.com)

Some thoughts:
  • The Court didn't back the detainees. It backed Habeas Corpus. I know this is a difficult concept to grasp but just because a decision upholding a basic right results in a particular benefit to a particular defendant does not mean the decision was made for the benefit of said defendant. They were just the immediate beneficiaries of the decision. The ultimate beneficiaries are all of us who may some day have to rely on rights like Habeas Corpus in order to defend ourselves against unjust charges.
  • This was a 5-4 decision. That means Habeas Corpus survives today because of just one vote. That's to damn close!
  • Shame on all the members of Congress who voted for this. Shame especially on the Democrats who voted for it (note: Barack Obama voted against it). And even more shame to those who voted for it, knowing it was wrong, but making the calculation that it was politically necessary and besides, the Supreme Court would overturn it anyway (see above about the 5-4 decision).
  • Yeah!

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