The SCOTUS ruled today in favor of Gitmo detainees, stating that they have the right to challenge their cases in US courts. President Bush, on his “Farewell tour” in Europe, reacted rather predictably:
“We’ll abide by the court’s decision,” Bush said during a news conference in Rome. “That doesn’t mean I have to agree with it.”
“It was a deeply divided court, and I strongly agree with those who dissented,” Bush said. “And that dissent was based upon their serious concerns about U.S. national security.”
As usual, what Mr. Bush failed to grasp was that the SCOTUS isn’t there to uphold his personal opinions about national security. The SCOTUS is there to interpret the Constitution, and whether or not the cases brought before it reflect the Constitution, or are in violation of it. In this case….well, duh. It is not lawful to detain people without charging them. It is not lawful to withhold due process, or a trial in front of a jury of one’s peers.
This is no longer about national security, if it ever was. It’s about an insistence of the unitary executive; a concept so deeply flawed that it has divided and fractured our country’s political landscape to the extent that it will take decades to mend. Last time I checked, the entire reason this country exists is because we decided a “unitary execuitve” doesn’t work.
Since Reagan, the SCOTUS has been used as a political football (possibly even earlier, but it became more evident during the Reagan administration). It seems the term “activist judges” is only applicable when decisions are made with which one disagrees. But the fact remains, our President is under the impression that congress and the Supreme Court exist only to make and interpret laws of which he approves.
November can’t come fast enough.