The Morning After: Another View of Supreme Court Cases

Civil liberties expert Elaine Cassel reports that this week's three Supreme Court detainee decisions may not be a victory for civil liberties after all. In fact, she calls the score "Bush 3, Civil liberties 0"--or "game, set, match - to George Bush."

Arthur at Light of Reason feels the same way. As TChris reported here, law prof Jonathan Turley expresses a similar pessimistic view, writing that the decisions show how imperiled our constitutional system has become.

And from Yale law professor Jack Balkin:

In essence, the Court has said in these cases: don't tell us that we are irrelevant. The flip side of that demand is that if the Administration now goes through the motions of justifying its decisions before a court, courts are much more likely to let it do what it likes. In that sense, the decisions in Hamdi and Rasul cannot be understood to be complete victories for civil liberties. But they are better than the alternatives.

Balkin also summarizes here:

Putting together Justice Thomas' opinion in Hamdi with his vote in ACLU v. Ashcroft, we may infer that the President can throw any citizen in a military prison indefinitely, but that the citizen has the right to view pornography while there.

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