WASHINGTON - Guantanamo Bay detainees may not challenge their detention in U.S. courts, a federal appeals court said Tuesday in a ruling upholding a key provision of a law at the center of President Bush's anti-terrorism plan.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 that civilian courts no longer have the authority to consider whether the military is illegally holding foreigners.
Barring detainees from the U.S. court system was a key provision in the Military Commissions Act, which Bush pushed through Congress last year to set up a system to prosecute terrorism suspects
This is good news and a logical outcome of legislation in Congress designed to do just this. The Supreme Court had ruled that there was no law authorizing the administration to detain and classify bad guys as enemy combatants. The President could have asserted this right under Article II of the Constitution, but instead he took the better course of acting with Congress to create legislation dealing with this issue. This legislation makes it crystal clear that if you are scarfed up while acting outside the laws of land warfare and Geneva Conventions you are not about to get the ghost of Johnny Cochran in a US court arguing for your release. You are not a US citizen, you are not covered by POW status under the Geneva Conventions, and you can make your case to a military tribunal.
This ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court, but has little chance of being overturned. The Military Commissions Act was written in direct reaction to the Supreme's ruling saying the previous system lacked supporting law, this one obviously has supporting law with clear intent.
This should be a stark reminder of the importance of losing both houses of Congress as now Sen. Leahy and Arlen Specter will do their best to get the law changed in favor of the terrorists. Thanks clowns, shouldn't you be busy wasting my money instead of wrestling with toughies like right and wrong, good and evil, even legal and illegal. 2008 is looking more and more important in deciding whether it's victory or defeat on many fronts.