Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Et tu, Brute?

I know, I know, my audience v. the audience for HuffPost, but some outrages deserve as much attention as even I can bring to them.

Senator Lindsay Graham is introducing an Amendment to the defense appropriations bill pending in the Senate (S. 1042) that would strip those designated by the Administration as enemy combatants of the ability to seek habeas review in federal courts. This is an end-run around the Supreme Court's decision in Rasul v. Bush which held Guantanamo detainees have the right to challenge the legality of their detentions.
Of course, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear, once again, the challenge of the detainees to their detention, a detention carried out solely by the authority of the President, with no charges being filed, and no judicial review having yet been granted (and still, why that is not a "Constitutional Crisis" is a question I cannot answer).

Indeed, Professor Neal K. Katyal of Georgetown University Law Center and Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift, lawyers for "detainee" Salim Ahmed Hamdan, have it exactly right:

"The president's unilateral creation of commissions," they argue, "his single-handed definition of the offenses and persons subject to their jurisdiction, and his promulgation of the rules of procedure combine to violate separation of powers." They add: "The Revolution was fought to ensure that no man, or branch of government, could be so powerful."
We are not ruled by a King, or a dictator (the Roman office given in times of national crisis to a leader who had absolute power over the military and the government, which power was returned to the Senate only when the crisis had passed. Precisely the power Julius Caesar refused to relinquish, and which drove Brutus to his act of treason).

But Sen. Graham would like to give us a king, apparently. Or maybe just a dictator. We are, after all, "engaged in a global war on Islamic extremists."

We cannot be too vigilant in the face of such a crisis.

No comments:

Post a Comment