Thursday, June 12, 2008

Take That, Linda Greenhouse!

Today's unequivocal opinion in Boumediene v. Bush will provide grist for numerous mills---legal and political---for years to come. Here I'll note three quick thoughts (with apologies for stepping on Neil's post, but the magnitude of the news demands a quick response):

1) The highly charged 5-4 ideological split, with Justice Kennedy swinging liberal, shows that analyses of this Term as less ideological than last Term---such as this one by Linda Greenhouse---were premature, and based on relatively low stakes cases. If, as I suspect, the Court decides Heller (the DC gun case) by a 5-4 margin (with Justice Kennedy likely swinging conservative there), no one will care that there were some non-ideological splits in lower-profile cases.

2) Based on my preliminary perusal of Justice Kennedy's opinion, it appears that he rejects a territorial test in favor of a functional test. That suggests that moving Gitmo prisoners to places that are more clearly outside US sovereignty---such as Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan---will not extinguish their habeas rights.

3) The political implications of today's ruling are not yet clear. The McCain campaign's recent statements that Sen. McCain supports the Bush warrantless wiretapping program indicate that Republicans will try to portray Obama as soft on terrorists. If I were advising the Obama campaign, I'd use today's decision as a shield along the following lines: "Even the Supreme Court, in an opinion authored by an appointee of President Reagan, and joined by appointees of Presidents Ford, the first Bush, and Clinton, recognized the excesses of the George W. Bush policy." Of course, the warrantless wiretapping program is distinct from the habeas issue, but hardcore Bushies defended both on grounds of Presidential power, and the average voter is not paying close attention.

I'd love to say more on this case, but now need to take off from blogging until Monday of next week because of my travel schedule. I invite discussion in the comments and further analysis by my co-bloggers.

Posted by Mike Dorf


  1. This decision is so HUGE it's GLOBAL. Indeed, we've all heard of World Literature; is this the first case in 'World Law'?

  2. "This decision is so HUGE it's GLOBAL."

    Slow down there, sport. That's what people said about previous War on Terror cases like Hamdan, and yet the War on Terror continues.

    One conservative blogger argued that Boumedienne will directly lead to more battlefield deaths, because now American troops have little or no incentive to leave wounded or captured combatants alive. I rather doubt that is the case, either.

    A different blogger wonders whether soldiers must read detained combatants their Miranda rights, and whether they need to treat battlefields like crime scenes (collecting evidence and whatnot).

  3. "collecting evidence and whatnot."

    It might be nice if they actually had evidence every once in a while.

    Another decision came down today, Munaf v. Geren, in which American detainees of the international coalition in Iraq tried to bar being handed over to Iraqi authorities. They argued they would be subject to torture. The court, in a unanimous decision, ruled that they could be moved to Iraqi detention. This creates an interesting situation for Gitmo (and other War on Terror prison) detainees - they can now contest their detention, and potentially be released, but have little recourse if their country of nationality (Algeria, Tunisia, etc.) is likely to subject them to detention, unfair trial and/or torture. It's a slightly different situation, so I'm sure it will be litigated further, but it makes freedom less sweet for some of the former "enemy combatants."

  4. A couple of comments:

    From the NY Times story --

    President Bush, appearing with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy at a press conference in Rome, said he was unhappy with the decision. “We’ll abide by the court’s decision. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with it,” the president said, adding that “it was a deeply divided court, and I strongly agree with those who dissented.”

    Interesting that W felt the need to say he would abide by the decision -- as if in the end it's ultimately his call. I think that might be a little bit of the unitary executive speaking. I wonder if there's a chance he *wouldn't* have abided if his approval rating was above freezing.

    The court declared unconstitutional a provision of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 which, at the administration’s behest, stripped the federal courts of jurisdiction to hear habeas corpus petitions from the detainees seeking to challenge their designation as enemy combatants.

    This may be a stretch, but since it's Kennedy, I'm reminded of the Boerne case, where he appeared annoyed that Congress had usurped court authority. (As I recall, the religious freedom law told the court which scrutiny standard to apply, or something close to that). Might something similar be afoot here, in that Kennedy didn't like the idea of Congress avoiding entanglements with the courts simply by removing jurisdiction?

  5. I guess Congress doesn't have the constitutional power to control the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction, and the constitutional avoidance doctrine is meaningless. I wonder if a Justice may be impeached for deciding advisory opinions.

  6. In a story today about the Court and presidential campaign, Greenhouse seems to agree with you, at least some:

    Habeas corpus, as such, is an unlikely crowd-mover. But the decision clearly tapped into deep feelings about the entire course of the Bush administration’s plan for the fight against terrorism. The debate among the justices was ostensibly over the fine points of constitutional history and interpretation. But what it revealed was a court as divided as the rest of the country, on the eve of a historic and perhaps close election, over the very nature of the post-Sept. 11 world.

  7. "It might be nice if they actually had evidence every once in a while."


    "Interesting that W felt the need to say he would abide by the decision -- as if in the end it's ultimately his call."

    SCOTUS apparently feels it is their call as to whether Congress really has an exceptions power (turns out, Congress does not).

  8. Anonymous7:22 AM

    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

  9. Anonymous8:07 AM

    野球・バッティング・上達野球・バッティング・講座野球・バッティング・練習野球・打撃・フォーム野球・練習・ネット野球・練習法野球・練習・方法野球・練習・メニュー野球・練習方法・バッティング野球・練習・バッティング野球・素振り・バット野球・教本野球・スイング野球・スイング・基本野球・スイング・フォーム野球・スイング・動画野球・スイング・写真野球・スイング・軌道野球・レベルスイング野球・アッパースイング野球・バッティング・フォームバッティング・理論バッティング・練習バッティング・フォームバッティングとはバッティング・コツバッティング・基本バッティング・指導バッティング・練習・通販バッティング・講座バッティング・上達バッティング・フォーム・連続写真打撃・理論打撃・練習打撃・フォーム・動画打撃・上達素振りの仕方ダウンスイング・野球アッパースイング 矯正スイングスピード 野球少年野球 指導少年野球 練習方法少年野球 バッティング 指導少年野球 コーチ中学 野球 練習ホームランバッターになる方法小学生 野球 トレーニング子供 野球 指導中学 野球 指導小学生 野球 指導学童野球 練習方法野球 指導 DVD野球 指導 動画高校野球 強打者年金                       Jメールテクニック
    メール恋愛術メール口説き方メール口説くメール女友達メール誘いメール誘い方愛情表現メール恋愛メールテクニック携帯メールテクニックケータイ メルテク恋愛メール術ケータイメール術携帯メール術恋メール術もてるメール術モテメール術脈ありメール恋愛脈ありメール脈あり脈なしメール女脈ありメールもてる方法モテル方法モテる方法モテル男モテる男条件モテる男の髪型モテる男のファッション恋愛モテる男もてる男もてる男の条件もてる男の性格もてる男の要素もてる男のファッションもてる秘訣モテる秘訣モテる話術もてる話術もてたいモテたいもてるしぐさ・心理恋愛指南書恋愛ツール恋愛の秘訣恋愛のきっかけ恋愛成就恋愛運恋愛運アップ恋愛運up恋愛誘い方恋愛付き合うきっかけ恋愛 付き合うまでの期間恋愛 付き合うまで会話術 恋愛コールドリーディング 恋愛女の本音 恋愛

  10. Anonymous10:44 PM

    It is the holic gold which makes me very happy these days, my brother says holic money is his favorite games gold he likes, he usually holic online gold to start his game and most of the time he will win the cheap holic gold back and give me some holic online money to play the game.

  11. Anonymous8:27 AM .
    [url=]puma shoes[/url]
    [url=]chaussures puma[/url]
    [url=]nike air max ltd[/url]


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.