Thursday, June 29, 2006

Supremes to Bush monarchy: Screw Yoo

When I was in law school, there were three Constitutional crises that we studied. The first, Marbury v. Madison (1803), established that it was the role of the Supreme Court to decide what the law is. The second, FDR's court-packing gambit, the Executive power-played the Court into allowing a fundamental expansion of federal power. The third was Nixon's "If the President does it, that makes it legal" episode in the 70s.

Today's decision in Hamdan is very likely to be #4 in future Con Law classes. Congress has utterly acquiesced in its own four-year disemboweling, and there has been no impediment to the Bush-Cheney onslaught until now. It has taken all this time for a proper case to come before the Supremes, but they have finally made it clear that the absurd rationale given for absolute power in the presidency -- the wildly overreaching theories of loathsome monarchist John Yoo -- have finally been laid to rest. I have not yet read the opnion, but Glenn Greenwald's analysis looks about right to me. A bare five-vote majority (stay away from Ann Coulter, Justice Stevens) still believes in the Constitution.

The interesting question is what happens next. Will Bush and Cheney defy the Supremes as they have all other conflicting authorities? Will they give lip service to the ruling and violate it in secret? I find it difficult to believe that they will simply accept a judicial and legislative leash after having run free for so long.

Even if the crisis does not end here, today is a good day.

Update: I'm still with Greenwald on the law. As to the politics and realpolitik, I'm with Digby.


Blogger Dr. Bloor said...

Tomorrow's headline: "Gonzales claims President has authority to issue signing statements in response to SCOTUS decisions."

7:17 PM  
Blogger bluememe said...

I guess "Screw Yoo" is a little arcane.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Eric Soderstrom said...

I agree it's a good day. And I'm a saddened by what constitutes a good day in these times.

It would have been 5-4 but it was 5-3 because John Roberts had to sit it out since he sat on the appeals court that ruled in favor of Bush on this issue. And Stevens is 86 years old. One more Bush appointee and it would have gone the other way. One more Bush appointee and other cases will go the wrong way.

And the thing is, this has almost no impact on the lives of every day Americans. Bush wanted to assure Americans that "this ruling, as I understand it, won't cause killers to be put out on the street." Um, the streets of Cuba? Of Afghanistan? Who cares?

And what about consequences - OK, this thing that has been going on for years is illegal. What now?

Again, I agree it is a good day, relatively speaking. But what's going to happen when the court starts hearing cases that matter like illegal wiretapping and net neutrality?

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, esoder has chimed in so it must be ok, but, in case you were wondering: Dr. Bloor should be explaining all this (the Executive use of and claim to power without limit) to you who may still be in doubt -- that is, if he didn't get a specialized degree limited to sports psychology.
Come on guys, how many kicks in the pants do you need? The facts (after sorting and selecting) are always interesing -- Bluememe's specialty, but the comments should rise to a much, much higher level. You don't really expect the democratic party to save you in this millenium do you? You can do it yourselves, but will you?

When there is no precedent legally or historically (in American history -- look abroad) how do you proceed? It's ok, take a guess. Costs nothing and what else do you got? Ready for the next level yet? Can you handle the idea that you are living in a Matrix?


9:10 PM  

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