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BREAKING: 5-3 decision, Supreme Court smacks down Bush over Gitmo detainees

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UPDATE: Here's the entire decision.

UPDATE: Did the Supreme Court just gut Bush's illegal domestic wiretapping program?

UPDATE: ScotusBlog says this decision is huge, and about far more than the media realizes.

More importantly, the Court held that Common Article 3 of Geneva aplies as a matter of treaty obligation to the conflict against Al Qaeda. That is the HUGE part of today's ruling. The commissions are the least of it. This basically resolves the debate about interrogation techniques, because Common Article 3 provides that detained persons "shall in all circumstances be treated humanely," and that "[t]o this end," certain specified acts "are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever"—including "cruel treatment and torture," and "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." This standard, not limited to the restrictions of the due process clause, is much more restrictive than even the McCain Amendment. See my further discussion here.

This almost certainly means that the CIA's interrogation regime is unlawful, and indeed, that many techniques the Administation has been using, such as waterboarding and hypothermia (and others) violate the War Crimes Act (because violations of Common Article 3 are deemed war crimes).
UPDATE: Washington Post:
The Supreme Court today delivered a stunning rebuke to the Bush administration over its plans to try Guantanamo detainees before military commissions, ruling that the commissions are unconstitutional.
Just coming in now.
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that President Bush overstepped his authority in ordering military war crimes trials for Guantanamo Bay detainees.

The ruling, a rebuke to the administration and its aggressive anti-terror policies, was written by Justice John Paul Stevens, who said the proposed trials were illegal under U.S. law and Geneva conventions.
Not so quaint after all, those Geneve Conventions.

This is apparently the Ahmed Hamdan case, the "driver" of Osama bin Laden. The court said Bush overstepped his authority in setting up military war crime tribunals to deal with the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The government has to come up with new procedures to either repatriate the detainees at Gitmo, let them go, or try them. The Geneva Convention must be applied, and the US has not properly established the military commissions to try the detainees

More in a bit. But note one thing. The Supreme Court is now 7-2 Republican to Democrat. The court is even further to the right than it was when Bush took office since he replaced Sandra Day O'Connor with Alito, who is far to the right of her.

That means that even with the most conservative Supreme Court in decades, Bush still got slapped down for his handling of civil liberties under the war on terror. Enough of this "activist judges" bs. Even the Republican-run court slaps down Bush (and apparently the legislative branch gets slapped too).

And what a surprise:
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a strongly worded dissent, saying the court's decision would "sorely hamper the president's ability to confront and defeat a new and deadly enemy."

The court's willingness, Thomas said, "to second-guess the determination of the political branches that these conspirators must be brought to justice is both unprecedented and dangerous."

Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito also filed dissents.
Three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse would have given Bush a blank check, big surprise. And had Roberts been involved, he recused himself, it's not hard to imagine that he'd have supported Bush's power grab as well. One more vote folks, and there is no stopping this administration. The next Supreme Cour vacancy, if it's one of the reasonable judges, and there will be no more checks on this administration.

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