These days, America teeters on the verge of having its dumbest Supreme Court since the Dred Scott jacktards who hastened the Civil War; currently, its four fascist-leaning members hold views that range from “too-Catholic to be believed,” to “I will have my revenge on Black America for calling me Uncle Tom.”
In fairness, one must also mention Justice Ginsburg, who is also insane, but leftwardly so. During my wife’s last pregnancy, Her Honor showed up at our house in Supreme Court robes, offering to perform a third-trimester partial-birth abortion on the missus for free, using nothing but ether, our Dyson sweeper and barbecue grill implements. We were flattered, but we declined.
So it is with great surprise that we read this over the rim of our coffee this fine Ohio morning:
The US Supreme Court Thursday ruled Guantanamo prisoners have the right to challenge their detention at the US military base in civilian courts, dealing a stiff rebuke to the Bush administration. “The laws and constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times,” the court said in its historic ruling, for the third time in four years striking down the government’s case for trying “war on terror” suspects in military tribunals. “Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the framework of the law,” the court added, ruling that prisoners in the remote US jail in southern Cuba “have the constitutional privilege of habeas corpus.” By a vote of five to four, the court found that even if the base was officially on Cuban territory, it was in fact operating as if it were on American soil.
“Top US court deals Bush blow on Guantanamo rights.” Breitbart 12 June, 2008.
Now, this doesn’t mean GITMO closes, or that those there are innocent, or will stop being force-fed c-ckme-t sandwiches, or that they should be released, to the extent they are fundy wackjobs, to continue plotting global mischief. It does reassert the primacy of civilian courts over criminal defendants, reinforces the doctrine of posse comitatus, and generally advises the military to shut up and know its damn role.
To the extent a “unitary executive” will listen to inferior branches of a tripartite, divided government, Bush’s Dark Tower of torture, disappearances, renditions and global bloodletting is at an end. A rugged, splintery stake through its fat, black heart.
The federal law which subjects anyone–even citizens–designated an enemy combatant to the whims of a military kangaroo court to demand a public explanation as to why they’ve been deprived of liberty? Judicially shat upon.
The death of Habeus Corpus? Greatly exaggerated.
Eternal, nameless confinement in a humid caribbean void, without the basic jurisprudential protections that are the rights of any person standing on the soil of a free republic? Bush’s greasy granny, mmhmm.
America’s devolution into a paranoid, quasi-fascist corpocracy? Stemmed, just a little, for now. The paranoid, all of us, remain vigilant and selectively hyperbolic. It will be a long road home, but today the Supreme Court, acting wholly out of character and in a hair’s-breadth 5-4 “split decision”, provided us with a compass. We should be encouraged, while we encourage them.