A Hopeful View of Chief Justice Roberts
Finding a silver lining in the Supreme Court's refusal to review Jose Padilla's claim that his detention as an enemy combatant was unconstitutional, Michael Dorf speculates that "Chief Justice Roberts may be more committed than most observers would have guessed, to a substantial judicial role in defending civil liberties against executive encroachment." Dorf is heartened by Roberts' decision to join the concurring opinion of Justice Kennedy, which "warn[ed] the government that the Supreme Court and the lower courts stand ready to enforce Padilla's rights--including the right to a speedy trial and to habeas corpus review--should the government continue to dither with Padilla."
These are, of course, nothing more than speculations. What is not speculation is the fact that the new Chief Justice--like every one of his predecessors--has already put substantial distance between himself and the positions of the Administration that just months ago nominated him to the Court.
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