About Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. What Kevin Hayden said. Say it loud, say it often:
“The Supreme Court determined Bush broke the law and said the president’s criminal behavior must stop.”
Yeah, I'm a few days late. Sometimes, though, I blog just to help myself catch up.
CNN reported that the reason Chief Justice John Roberts recused himself from Hamdan v. Rumsfeld is that as an appeals court justice he had ruled against the government when the case was before him.
Roberts, of course, ruled for the government in that case. It's kinda how he got his current job.
(Emphasis added. And see Susie Madrak for the LA Times' take on the SCOTUS ruling itself.)
Duncan's right, that ruling is what cinched a spot on Supreme Court bench for Roberts. Karl Rove and Dick Cheney sat right up and took notice.
"Why, look, Dick, there's a judge after our own hearts, if I may use the word when talking about a pair of cardiologically-deprived bastards like us."
"Heh heh heh, Karl. You are the wag. No wonder Time magazine fawns all over your ass. But you are right about this Roberts kid. He likes himself a dictatorship almost as much as we do. What do you say we do something for him. What've we got open?"
But I think CNN got it right, though probably unconsciously.
The goverment is the three-part system of checks and balances and the rule of law that is the United States Constitution realized and brought to life. John Roberts ruled in favor of the Bush Administration, which wants to be the government all by itself. Roberts ruled that the way is clear for President Bush to make himself the government whenever he feels like it.
The Supreme Court said, Sorry, George (and Dick and Karl), the old government still runs the show and you have to operate as a part of it and answerable to it.
Or as Lt Cmdr Charles Swift, Salim Ahmed Hamdan's lawyer told Chris Matthews:
At stake was the rule of law. The president had staked out a position that was contrary both to international law and to our domestic statutes in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. What the court did was say that even the president has to follow the law.
So this is why I say CNN got it right. Roberts ruled against our system of government.
My quick take is that it's certainly an important symbolic victory, but this administration's contempt for the law, the constitution, and the balance/separation of powers that our system rests on isn't going to be very affected by what 5 people in black robes say. They've ignored Congress and they'll ignore the Court too...
Cross-posted at the American Street.
Iddybud has some more thoughts plus good video here, and then raises another sobering concern here. The Heretik elaborates upon a part of that concern---right now, Anthony Kennedy is all that stands between us and a Bush Leauge Supreme Court.
Read the Hardball transcript and watch the video John Amato's posted at Crooks and Liars.
While you're there, just for fun, though you've probably already seen it, watch the video of Robin Williams on the Tonight Show talking about Rush's little problem.
"I cain't quit you, Rush!"