Thursday, June 14, 2007

Court Strikes Down Bush Grab for Power...

Here's some good news on the homefront.

Court Strikes Down Bush Grab for Power
John F. McManus
JBSWednesday June 13, 2007

Claiming unusual authority to designate and hold individuals who are thought to be "enemy combatants," the Bush administration exercised power that has unnerved many constitutional scholars. Now a federal appeals court has ruled that such power exceeds the bounds of the Constitution.

Follow this link to the source article: "Judges Say U.S. Can't Hold Man as "Combatant"

On June 11th, a three-judge panel in Richmond, Virginia, ruled 2 to 1 that the President does not have power to declare a civilian living in the United States an "enemy combatant" and turn him over to the military for indefinite incarceration. The case involves Ali al-Marri, a resident of Qatar, who is suspected of being a close associate of both Osama bin Laden and Khalid Mohammed, the brains behind the 9/11 attack. In 2001 while living in Illinois, he was arrested for credit card fraud and lying to government agents. About to be tried on those charges in 2003, he was grabbed by military authorities and sent to a military prison where he has been held for four years without any charges being placed against him.

The federal panel did not declare him innocent and did not order him to be set free. It said simply that Mr. Bush had overstepped his authority. In the name of fighting a "war on terror," the President had improperly assumed power to declare a person an "enemy combatant" and throw him into a military prison. Al-Marri's legal team sued in 2005 and gained the ruling just announced.

Writing for the majority, Judge Diana Gribbon Motz, a Clinton appointee, stated, "To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians, even if the president calls them 'enemy combatants,' would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution — and the country. We refuse to recognize this claim for power." But the ruling also said that the government may charge al-Marri with a crime, deport him, or hold him as a material witness in connection with other cases. All of this, however, must be done in a civilian court.

President Bush believes he holds power inherently to designate al-Marri and others as combatants and have the military incarcerate them. The court disagreed, and the Justice Department immediately announced plans to appeal the decision. The matter may wind its way up to the Supreme Court. The ruling, however, was considered by White House critics as another setback for the President.
Here are some quote you should remember:
“When fascism comes to America, it’ll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.”
–Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt (1922)
"The only thing required for evil to succeed, is for good men to do nothing."
-Winston Churchill

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it."
-Mark Twain
Class Dismissed...


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