By now you’ve probably heard that the Supreme Court has decided to hear the case of the sole legal U.S. resident detained indefinitely -- yes, that means
By now you’ve probably heard that the Supreme Court has decided to hear the case of the sole legal U.S. resident detained indefinitely — yes, that means potentially forever — without charges, right here on U.S. soil. All because President Bush decided on his own authority, that this 28-year-old father of five, who was then living quietly in Peoria, Ill., was a dangerous associate of Al Qaeda. No proof required, and none has been offered in any court of law.
As Matthew DeLong noted earlier, the Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri’s appeal, which questions whether the president really has the authority to hold U.S. residents indefinitely without charge. Al-Marri has been detained, mostly in solitary confinement, at a Navy brig in South Carolina since June 2003.
But there’s a good chance that the Supreme Court will never get to hear al-Marri’s appeal and rule on this critical constitutional question. That’s because, as George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley explained on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” Friday, the Bush administration may decide to transfer al-Marri to a regular prison and charge him as a criminal — purely to keep the issue from reaching the Supreme Court, where the Bush administration may well lose the case.
That’s what the Bush administration did in the case of Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen also classified as an “enemy combatant,” who was transferred to the criminal justice system so no court could rule on the legality of the administration’s actions.
The other likely scenario is that a new Obama administration, which will presumably be gung-ho about preserving civil liberties, will take over in January and reverse the government’s position in the case and decide that al-Marri cannot be held indefinitely as an enemy combatant without charges after all. The Supreme Court probably wouldn’t hear oral arguments in this case until spring, and it’s hard to imagine that the new Justice Department, under Attorney General-nominee Eric Holder — who has made strong statements about the illegality of Bush’s detention policies — is going to defend President Bush’s executive decision to hold al-Marri indefinitely.
While that would be a good outcome for al-Marri, it could be a loss for civil libertarians, who are hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court will rule definitively that the president of the United States does not have the authority to detain a U.S. resident in a U.S. prison indefinitely without charge, without having to prove to some federal judge somewhere that he poses a real danger.
Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response
Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen
Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.)
One of the most conservative Democrats in the House -- a freshman who said he couldn’t support Nancy Pelosi again -- is going to switch over to the GOP. Josh
Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment
In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep
Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!
The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the
Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’
Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday
Rep. Paulsen allies with medical device industry to relax FDA oversight
Source: Flickr; Republicanconference (www.flickr.com/photos/republicanconference) On the heels of the Minnesota Independent story last week about U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s cozy financial relationship with the medical device industry, the New York Times reported Tuesday that some health professionals are alarmed by Paulsen’s push to relax Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight
Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs
Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability
Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store
Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public
Rep. Pete Stark Won’t Dignify Constituent by, er, Micturating Upon His Leg
In the tradition of Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), California Democratic Rep. Pete Stark revealed at a recent town hall gathering that there are limits to what
School of Hock
A growing number of college grads are defaulting on their student loans as the economy worsens.