What we have with the recent 5-3 “Hamadan” ruling in the Supreme Court is the first signs of my beloved country finally crawling itself out of the muck and back towards true democracy:
The ruling unambiguously declares that the President may not simply invent trials that conform to no known standard of law, which are not necessitated by urgent battlefield conditions, and deny defense lawyers access to evidence. It also dismantles every element of the Administration’s case, from the conspiracy-to-commit-war crimes charges against the Yemeni national who was Osama bin Laden’s driver in Afghanistan to the necessity of an improvised process governed by no act of Congress. “Any urgent need … is utterly belied by the record,” Justice Stevens writes.
What I find disturbing however is the fact that this is a 5-3 decision and not a 8-0 (or 9-0 if Roberts hadn’t ruled already in favor of the government.) The fact that there are four people on the Supreme Court that would rule in favor of letting the chief executive invent laws by himself — these are Supreme Court Justices mind you — is just mind-boggling. If you’re a judge of any sort, I don’t care if you’re on the Supreme Court or you’re just a judge on American Idol, you lose your place on the bench if you believe that it is OK to just make things up as you go along.