June 29, 2006
HAMDAN CASE DECIDED: And Marty Lederman at SCOTUSBLOG says the press coverage is missing the biggest part of the story:
More importantly, the Court held that Common Article 3 of Geneva aplies as a matter of treaty obligation to the conflict against Al Qaeda. That is the HUGE part of today’s ruling. The commissions are the least of it. This basically resolves the debate about interrogation techniques, because Common Article 3 provides that detained persons “shall in all circumstances be treated humanely,” and that “[t]o this end,” certain specified acts “are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever”—including “cruel treatment and torture,” and “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.” This standard, not limited to the restrictions of the due process clause, is much more restrictive than even the McCain Amendment. . . . If I’m right about this, it’s enormously significant.”
Indeed. At the very least, this should serve as a rebuke to those who have been proclaiming that we live in an era of lawless fascism and rubberstamp courts. And that’s (another) good reason for Bush not to follow advice from some quarters to disobey the ruling, a la Andrew Jackson.
UPDATE: Andrew Cochran thinks this is a “huge political gift” to the Bush Administration.
Hot Air has video of Bush’s reaction.
ANOTHER UPDATE: More from Ann Althouse.