Supreme Court Approves Police State Harshness
Another giant step closer to tyranny.
by Stephen Lendman
On June 12, 2008, the Supreme Court ruled 5 - 4 in Boumediene v. Bush. It affirmed habeas rights for Guantanamo detainees. It let them petition for release from lawlessly imposed custody.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. He said America maintains complete jurisdiction over Guantanamo regardless of its offshore location. He opposed political branches "govern(ing) without legal restraint."
He expressed concerns about usurping "power to switch the Constitution on or off at will." Doing so "lead(s) to a regime in which they, not this Court, say 'what the law is.' "
"Even when the United States acts outside its borders, its powers are not 'absolute and unlimited' but are subject 'to such restrictions as are expressed in the Constitution."
He called habeas "an indispensable mechanism for monitoring the separation of powers."
"The test for determining (its) scope must not be subject to manipulation by those whose power it is designed to restrain."
This bedrock right has no adequate substitute.
In Brown v. Vasquez (August 1991), the Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals "recognized the fact that (the) writ of habeas corpus is the fundamental instrument for safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary and lawless state action...."
"Therefore, the writ must be administered with the initiative and flexibility essential to insure that miscarriages of justice within its reach are surfaced and corrected."
Habeas rights are fundamental. They date from the 1215 Magna Carta (the Great Charter). They're universal. Boumediene v. Bush affirmed them. On Monday, the Roberts court reversed its earlier ruling.
On June 11, the Supreme Court denied certiorati for seven Guantanamo detainees. Doing so violated the Constitution's Article 1, Section 9, Clause 2. It states:
"The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public safety may require it."