Gavel Grab

Reactions to Boumediene

Today’s blog will be dedicated entirely to the Boumediene decision that the Supreme Court had handed down. The decision was a 5-4 decision, favoring the rights of the detainees to be informed of why they are being detained, thus returning Habeas Corpus to the detained.

So far, the folks at Balkin have a few questions that have been left unanswered by the decision decision.

While our friends at the SCOTUS blog have given their very early view on the decision.

One thing is for sure though, Justice Scalia was not at all happy with the decision. And that puts it mildly. I guess Scalia is finally embracing his prestige as a Supreme Court justice.

Lastly, here is Justice at Stake’s Executive Director, Bert Brandenburg’s comment on the decision:

Liberty always deserves a day in court, even in wartime. Today’s Supreme Court decision affirms our system of checks and balances, in which courts ensure that the Constitution’s basic guarantees are upheld.

The history of court decisions in wartime shows time and again that the courts, carrying out their job defending the Constitution, have not undercut national security.

Since September 11, our courts too frequently have been deprived of the authority and independence they need to protect our constitutional liberties and hold the government accountable. As Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said so eloquently, “A state of war is not a blank check for the president.”

In today’s ruling, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy added, “The Framers’ inherent distrust of governmental power was the driving force behind the constitutional plan that allocated powers among three independent branches. This design serves not only to make Government accountable but also to secure individual liberty.”

Expect more thought out responses in the next 24 hours as the world gets deeper into this momentous decision, and its impact on Federal Courts.

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