Justices: Gitmo detainees can challenge detention in U.S. courts - CNN.com

Justices: Gitmo detainees can challenge detention in U.S. courts - CNN.com

This is what we call an unalloyed piece of good, if LONG !@#$ OVERDUE, news. The Supreme Court has affirmed that those pesky rights and protections in the Constitution that some of us still think might be sorta, maybe, kinda important to apply equally to everyone, well, they even apply to people our government alleges have committed heinous crimes.


This is going to put a spring in my step all day. Sad comment that simply reaffirming rights that are unambiguously spelled out in our country’s founding documents can cheer me up like this, but there you go.

Also, as of this writing, CNN.com’s link for this story off their front page says “Gitmo detainees win round at Supreme Court.” I’m pretty sure that when you win a decision at the “Supreme” Court, that’s not just winning a “round.”

After all, what’s the government going to do? Come up with some other flimsy legal pretext to keep a bunch of detainees acquired under dubious circumstances from having private conversations with their lawyers, having the same access to evidence as their prosecution, or having any chance of seeing as fair and impartial a trial as America can provide before the next administration comes in to deal with the legal mess left behind by this one?

… Naaaaah.

But I’ll relish this small reminder that we might just live in a nation of laws after all.

Suspected terrorists and foreign fighters held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have the right to challenge their detention in federal court, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The decision marked another legal blow to the Bush administrations war on terrorism policies.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices said the U.S. military lacks the legal autonomy to prosecute as many as 300 prisoners.

At issue were the rights of the detainees to contest their imprisonment as well as the rules established to try them in military tribunals.

A congressional law passed in 2006 would limit court jurisdiction to hear such challenges.

It is a legal question the justices have tackled three times since 2004, including Thursdays ruling.

Each time the high court ruled against the governments claim that it has the authority to hold people it labels “enemy combatants.“