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I have nothing but disdain for most of what shows up on the Washington Post op-ed pages, but I do like Eugene Robinson:

It shouldn't be necessary for the Supreme Court to tell the president that he can't have people taken into custody, spirited to a remote prison camp and held indefinitely, with no legal right to argue that they've been unjustly imprisoned -- not even on grounds of mistaken identity. But the president in question is, sigh, George W. Bush, who has taken a chainsaw to the rule of law with the same manic gusto he displays while clearing brush at his Texas ranch.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's majority opinion seems broad and definitive enough to end the Kafkaesque farce at Guantanamo once and for all.

"The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times," Kennedy wrote. Again, it's amazing that any president of the United States would need to have such a basic concept spelled out for him.

I say "amazingly" because it's still hard for me to believe that arbitrary arrest, indefinite detention and torture continue to be debated, as if there were pros and cons.

"The nation will live to regret what the court has done today," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a dissent, warning that the ruling "will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed."

Everyone hopes he's wrong, of course. But if the only thing that mattered were security, why would we bother to have an independent judiciary? Why would there be any constitutional or legal guarantees of due process for anyone? We could just lock up anyone who fit the demographic profile of the average armed robber, say, or anyone with psychological traits often displayed by embezzlers.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 06:47:40 AM EST

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