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Victoria Silverwolf
Here's the story:

Link

QUOTE
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 international Geneva conventions.

In brief comments, Bush said he will work with Congress to get approval to try terrorism suspects before military tribunals.


The Washington Post has this to say:

Link


QUOTE
For five years, President Bush waged war as he saw fit. If intelligence officers needed to eavesdrop on overseas telephone calls without warrants, he authorized it. If the military wanted to hold terrorism suspects without trial, he let it.

Now the Supreme Court has struck at the core of his presidency and dismissed the notion that the president alone can determine how to defend the country. In rejecting Bush's military tribunals for terrorism suspects, the high court ruled that even a wartime commander in chief must govern within constitutional confines significantly tighter than this president has believed appropriate.


To be debated:

1. Did the Supreme Court rule correctly in this case?

2. Will this decision weaken the War on Terrorism?

3. Will this lead to further limitations on executive power?

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Renger
QUOTE(Victoria Silverwolf @ Jun 30 2006, 08:03 AM) *


To be debated:

1. Did the Supreme Court rule correctly in this case?

2. Will this decision weaken the War on Terrorism?

3. Will this lead to further limitations on executive power?



1. Although I am not an expert at all in regard to the U.S. laws, I must say that I think the Supreme Court rightfully ruled against the way prisoners suspected of terrorism are detained and trialed in Gitmo. This whole chapter in the U.S. war against terrorism is a big black page and I am still amazed that it took so long before legal actions were made against it.

2. Weaken the war on terrorism? Not at all, I never really understood why the U.S. government had to use Guantanamo in the first place. It went against some basic principles of human rights, it never resulted in usable information and it damaged the reputation of the U.S. in the world. There are dozens of better ways to deal with terrorism.

3. I hope so, too much executive power tends to corrupt. It is time to re-evaluate the position of the Bush administration in the fight against terror so that things like illegal wiretapping, random arrests of supposed "terrorists" etc will be a thing of the past.
AuthorMusician
1. Did the Supreme Court rule correctly in this case?

Yep. The argument that Bush is a wartime president has always been a stretch. I know that he thinks being a dictator makes the job easier, but sorry George. This is the US. Everyone has restrictions, including the president.

2. Will this decision weaken the War on Terrorism?

We're still trying to figure out how to do a war on terrorism. The problem is that the term war simply doesn't fit. Anyway, the tribunal issue involves killing American principles in order to save them. I imagine the terrorists rather like the situation, those not being detained that is, if there are indeed terrorists being detained. Who can know when it's all super secret?

3. Will this lead to further limitations on executive power?

Could be. President Bush doesn't seem to think that any law applies to him because he calls himself the wartime president, and thereby grants himself absolute power. The circular argument is in these days. Then he stomps around when he doesn't get his own way. Must suck to be him.

It is remarkable that a primarily conservative court went this way. I think a message is being sent to the Executive to get smart. It is a rather strong one, like a baseball bat whack to the side of the head.
DaffyGrl
1. Did the Supreme Court rule correctly in this case?

I believe they did. The executive branch needed a wakeup call that the office of the president does not mean automatic carte blanche to do whatever they want, regardless of laws.

2. Will this decision weaken the War on Terrorism?

I hate to try to answer this. The “WOT” has become a bad joke. Invading countries on the whim of a power-drunk tyrant is not “fighting terrorism”. Rescinding American citizens’ constitutional rights in the name of the WOT is not “fighting terrorism”; indeed, shredding the principles this country was founded on is not “fighting terrorism”. This president has no intention of “fighting terrorism”; instead, he fosters domestic terrorism by encouraging an “if yer not with us, yer agin us” attitude, spreading lies and strong-arming anyone who gets in the way of his vision of a new world order.

3. Will this lead to further limitations on executive power?

God, let’s hope so. But it’s a fragile hope. Already, stories are popping up about Senators working to undermine the Court’s decision. Dissenters and even some who concurred with the decision on the SC have already planted the seed.
QUOTE
But in a concurring opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer noted, “Nothing prevents the president from returning to Congress to seek the authority he believes necessary.”
<snip>
In a joint statement, Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jon Kyl of Arizona, noting Breyer’s opinion, declared their intention to “pursue legislation in the Senate granting the Executive Branch the authority to ensure that terrorists can be tried by competent military commissions.” Raw Story

I don’t know if this will shake up the American people to realize that we have not a president, but a tyrant intent on achieving absolute power (the picture of his puss on the front of the LA Times reminds me of a toddler who didn’t get his way, and I’m sure the poor schlubs who work for him got an earful about how this will NOT BE TOLERATED).

It has taken 4 years for this decision to be made. For 4 years, the detainees at Guantanamo have been held without charges, and without this decision, they may have been held for many more years. Now, at least Bush can’t get away with making up his own system of justice for those he has incarcerated...at least we can hope so.
ConservPat
QUOTE
1. Did the Supreme Court rule correctly in this case?

I'm still trying to cut through all the spin to figure out what EXACTLY the Supreme Court decided and why they decided that way. From what I can tell, the majority's main opinion is that these military tribunals were not created by an act of Congress. Congress is obviously the only branch of government that can create court systems, so, the President would not be acting within his Article I, Constitutional bounds by attempting to use a court system not approved by Congress. If I've understood that correctly, Congress would need to only pass a law allowing Gitmo detainees to be tried under a military tribunal and that would be perfectly fine. On the other hand, Scalia and Thomas said that the Supreme Court didn't have jurisdiction over this case because the Detainee Treatment Act, which Congress passed in 2005, stated that "no court, justice or judge shall have jurisdiction to consider the habeus application of a Guantanimo Bay detainee." So the question now is, "does Congress have the authority to restrict the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court?" As far as I can tell it does not. So, long story short, the SCOTUS ruled correctly.

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crashfourit
QUOTE(ConservPat @ Jun 30 2006, 03:50 PM) *

QUOTE
1. Did the Supreme Court rule correctly in this case?

I'm still trying to cut through all the spin to figure out what EXACTLY the Supreme Court decided and why they decided that way. From what I can tell, the majority's main opinion is that these military tribunals were not created by an act of Congress. Congress is obviously the only branch of government that can create court systems, so, the President would not be acting within his Article I, Constitutional bounds by attempting to use a court system not approved by Congress. If I've understood that correctly, Congress would need to only pass a law allowing Gitmo detainees to be tried under a military tribunal and that would be perfectly fine. On the other hand, Scalia and Thomas said that the Supreme Court didn't have jurisdiction over this case because the Detainee Treatment Act, which Congress passed in 2005, stated that "no court, justice or judge shall have jurisdiction to consider the habeus application of a Guantanimo Bay detainee." So the question now is, "does Congress have the authority to restrict the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court?" As far as I can tell it does not. So, long story short, the SCOTUS ruled correctly.

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QUOTE(Article 3)
In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.


ConservPat, well it seems to me that it depends if SCOTUS has original jurisdiction in this case or not.
Blackstone
1. Did the Supreme Court rule correctly in this case?

They seem to have, more or less, though I have some concerns about their interpretation of the Geneva Conventions. They were not intended to apply to illegal combatants of the type we face in the war on terror. It would have been far preferable if the Court based its decision solely on the Constitution and statutes of this country.

I'll admit to having some mixed concerns about all this. War by its nature is necessarily a largely extralegal process. That doesn't mean that those who conduct it shouldn't be held legally accountable for their actions. They most certainly should. But I question the wisdom of having the judiciary manage the process while it's happening. Instead, those who commit questionable actions should be held to answer for them after the fact, and be prepared to explain their actions to a court martial, a civilian jury, or the U.S. Senate sitting in its capacity as a court of impeachment.

ConservPat and crashfourit, the Court did not decide that Congress could not restrict its jurisdiction. It only decided that it had not done so in this instance. It all hinged on how the Detainee Treatment Act is interpreted. The Court concluded that it only restricts its jurisdiction in cases that come up after the act went into effect. This particular case dates from before the act's enactment, and the Court concluded that Congress had not withdrawn its jurisdiction in this case.
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