Saturday, June 23, 2007

Gitmo's Legacy

Rumors are once again circulating that the administration is planning/hoping to shut down the military prison at Guantanamo asap. Yesterday's NY Times story adverted to the further legal issues that would arise were that to happen: Detainees moved to locations clearly within the U.S. might thereby become entitled to greater constitutional protection (though no greater statutory protection, because the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006 draws no distinctions based on where an alien is held); meanwhile, human rights issues would be raised by deporting/extraditing detainees to countries where they would face torture, etc.

Here I'll very briefly raise a different question: What would be the long-term meaning of a decision to close Gitmo in the next few weeks or months? We might think that this would show just how weak our courts are in the face of a determined executive. After all, despite repeated losses in the courts, the administration will have succeeded in holding detainees for over half a decade, and ultimately evading any real consequences of Supreme Court decisions rejecting sweeping executive claims. We might call this the "legal realist" take, and it would call attention to the disconnect between the law as announced by the courts and the facts on the ground.

I'm quite sympathetic to the legal realist view, but I also want to suggest that by closing Gitmo, the Bush administration would be losing the long-term legal battle. Here Lincoln is a useful example. Scholarly treatments of Lincoln's assumption of emergency powers call attention to how he got away with bending---we might equally say breaking---the Constitution to fight the Civil War. But for a variety of reasons, the Supreme Court never upheld Lincoln's most aggressive moves on the merits. Indeed, the most notable decisions to come out of the Civil War are odes to the constitutional constraints on the President: Ex Parte Milligan and Ex Parte Merryman are perhaps the leading examples. It's true that the Lincoln won The Prize Cases but the result in that case---that the President can respond to an attack without prior authorization by Congress---seems obviously correct. Likewise, the most disturbing decision from the era is Ex Parte McCardle, which permitted Congress to withdraw habeas jurisdiction over a pending case---but the consensus reading of McCardle makes its result turn on the availability of other avenues of relief. That's a fairly technical way of making a fairly simple point: By any measure, Lincoln exercised sweeping powers during the Civil War, but the legal legacy of the period was much more mixed because the Supreme Court did not validate the most sweeping measures.

Accordingly, even though the MCA effectively overrules Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (and then some!), if we make it through this period without the Supreme Court ever having to uphold the MCA, the legacy of the Bush administration will not be the fact that it effectively exercised sweeping power but that the Supreme Court rejected its boldest assertions of power. This is really the converse of the point made by Justice Jackson in his Korematsu dissent. Jackson complained about the Court validating military judgment and thereby giving it the force of law; invalidation of executive authority---even if it has little practical effect in the immediate circumstances---can act as a brake on executive action in future crises.

And no, I'm not saying that George W. Bush is like Abraham Lincoln or vice-versa, except in this one respect.

10 comments:

egarber said...

I wonder about the political / societal legacy as well. 30 years from now, will Gitmo and the torture debate be looked upon the same way Japanese American internment did in the post World War II years?

Although Rehnquist remarks that the internment was understandable in "All the Laws but One," it's clear that it's generally a source of public shame looking back.

If Gitmo etc., aren't in the same category, I worry that this might merely be the first step toward something uglier, notwithstanding Mike's observation that the courts may come out ok.

Juan said...

It’s my humble opinion that Bush II’s lawbreaking doesn’t admit comparison with Lincoln’s or FDL’s. Bush II has violated the law with the creation of Gitmo, “black holes”, warrantless eavesdropping, and other expansive assertions of his role as Commander in Chief not as a reaction to a circumstantial problem, as Lincoln and FDL did, but, rather, as a means to reform the entire system in accordance with a particular vision of it: the unitary executive. As it was made clear by the British secret services with regard to the invasion of Iraq, all the abuses that preceded (except, perhaps, the invasion of Afghanistan, which deserves a separate analysis) and followed it are a case where “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downing_Street_memo ]. Provided this differing premise, I fear that Gitmo’s legacy will be much more toxic.

Juan said...

As a follow-up to my previous comment, here's an article published in washingtonpost.com, with the revealing title "Pushing the envelope on Presidential Power":

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/cheney/chapters/pushing_the_envelope_on_presi/index.html

The article ends with this paragraph:

'Gerson [Bush's longtime chier speechwriter] added: "It's principled. He[Cheney]'s deeply conscious that this is a dangerous world, and he wants this president and future presidents to be able to deal with that. He feels very strongly about these things, and it's his great virtue and his weakness."'

PG said...

Accordingly, even though the MCA effectively overrules Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (and then some!), if we make it through this period without the Supreme Court ever having to uphold the MCA, the legacy of the Bush administration will not be the fact that it effectively exercised sweeping power but that the Supreme Court rejected its boldest assertions of power.

If the Supreme Court ruled the MCA constitutional, I don't see how this is an affirmation of the Bush Administration's "boldest assertions of power." At the point that Congress got off its patoot and started debating and passing actual legislation regarding executive action and detainees' access to the courts, the Administration's own assertion of power no longer is the issue. As with McCardle, it's a question of what Congress allots to the other two branches.

路傑 said...

免費A片, ut聊天室, AV女優, 美女視訊, 免費成人影片, 成人論壇, 情色交友, 免費AV, 線上a片, 日本美女寫真集, 同志聊天室, 聊天室交友, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 微風成人區, 色美媚部落格, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, 免費A片, 上班族聊天室, A片,H漫, 18成人, a漫, av dvd, 一夜情聊天室, 微風成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人貼圖, 成人電影, 成人, 中部人聊天室, 080中部人聊天室, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 成人電影, A片, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 成人遊戲, 成人影城, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 成人網站, 麗的色遊戲, 色情網站, 成人論壇, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 自拍, 癡漢, , 俱樂部, 豆豆聊天室, 聊天室, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊交友90739 情人視訊網影音視訊聊天室 免費視訊聊天室 視訊聊天 視訊交友 美女視訊 視訊美女 視訊 免費視訊 免費視訊聊天 視訊聊天室 辣妹視訊 一夜情 色情a片 aio交友愛情館 情色電影 情色視訊 色情遊戲 色情 情色小說 一葉情貼圖片區 色情小說 色情聊天室 情色交友 成人論壇 成人網站 色情網站 情色論壇 小高聊天室 女同志聊天室 6K聊天室 080苗栗人聊天室 080聊天室 聊天室尋夢園 UT男同志聊天室 男同志聊天室 尋夢園聊天室 UT聊天室 聊天室 豆豆聊天室 A片 成人電影 成人貼圖 嘟嘟成人網 美女交友 本土自拍 成人交友 成人影片http://ssff01.3b8mm.com/

xw said...

The devaluation of the fiesta Gold grows faster than we think of it. I hope it is reflects to the management department about the question of the fiesta money.
It is caused by the continuous influx of fiesta online gold market currencies. On the other hand, buy fiesta Gold is one of these questions. The fiesta online money is one of the causes.

. said...

酒店喝酒,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,制服店,便服店,鋼琴酒吧,兼差,酒店兼差,酒店打工,伴唱小姐,暑假打工,酒店上班,日式酒店,舞廳,ktv酒店,酒店,酒店公關,酒店小姐,理容院,日領,龍亨,學生兼差,酒店兼差,酒店上班,酒店打工,禮服酒店,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,經紀 彩色爆米花,經紀人 彩色爆米花,酒店傳播,酒店經紀 彩色爆米花,爆米花,童裝,童裝拍賣,童裝大盤,童裝寄賣,童裝批貨,酒店,酒店,童裝切貨,酒店,GAP童裝,酒店,酒店 ,禮服店 , 酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,招待所,

. said...

酒店喝酒,禮服店,酒店小姐,制服店,便服店,鋼琴酒吧,兼差,酒店兼差,酒店打工,伴唱小姐,暑假打工,酒店上班,日式酒店,ktv酒店,酒店,酒店公關,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,酒店上班,酒店打工,禮服酒店,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,經紀 彩色爆米花,經紀人 彩色爆米花,酒店傳播,酒店經紀 彩色爆米花,爆米花,童裝,童裝拍賣,童裝大盤,童裝寄賣,童裝批貨,酒店,酒店,童裝切貨,酒店,GAP童裝,酒店,酒店 ,禮服店 , 酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,招待所,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店上班,暑假打工,酒店公關,酒店兼職,酒店經紀

wsty said...

www.eshooes.com .
www.pumafr.com.
www.myshoess.com.

www.eshooes.com .
www.pumafr.com.
www.myshoess.com.
[url=http://www.pumafr.com]puma shoes[/url]
[url=http://www.eshooes.com]chaussures puma[/url]
[url=http://www.myshoess.com]nike air max ltd[/url]

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店經紀, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店工作, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀,,