The nation will live to regret what the court has done today.” Justice Antonin Scalia, in dissent of Thursday’s Supreme Court decision
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts. So let’s get this straight, Islamic-jihadists, terrorists are entitled to American constitutional protections??? What’s next, our Marines need to pull-up in the heat of battle to issue Miranda Rights?
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing in support of the court’s decision, said, “The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.
Yes, of course – But at the same time, as Abraham Lincoln said in response to charges he was violating the Constitution when he suspended habeas corpus during the American Civil War, “the Constitution is not a suicide pact.” What does this mean? It means that, in some instances, bending over backwards to support “legal niceties” should not always take priority over our national security. Thomas Jefferson expressed the same sentiment when he made the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 (since he believed a strict interpretation of the Constitution did not actually give the federal government the right to acquire foreign territory):
A strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means.”
Thursday’s decision by the Court (made with the slimmest possible 5-4 majority) is dangerous, not only in principle, but also literally dangerous to our nation.
From the NY Daily News: In sum, the court bestowed upon the judiciary the power to decide who can be held as an enemy combatant whenever judges feel inclined to intervene.
In dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts criticized his colleagues for striking down what he called “the most generous set of procedural protections ever afforded aliens detained by this country as enemy combatants.” As Roberts put it, Americans “today lose a bit more control over the conduct of this nation’s foreign policy to unelected, politically unaccountable judges,” a group that is hardly qualified to make life-and-death calls as to which prisoners are terrorists and which are simple goatherds, as they all claim to be.
Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas also dissented. Scalia said the nation is “at war with radical Islamists” and that the court’s decision “will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.”