Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Writing Laws from the Bench---- The Saga Continues

by GREGNYCIFF@aol.com

It has become quite amusing that since the War on Terrorism hit its climax on September 11, 2001, all we have heard from the hysterical left are cries that President Bush is over stepping his grounds as Commander in Chief. They say he is abusing his executive powers; that he is ignoring the constitution. Thus, as recent developments have shown us, it is without question that President Bush happens to be the ONLY one respecting the limits of his authority spelled out in the constitution.
To further explain this example of misguided claims, all we need to do is take a look at the Hamdan vs Rumsfeld case recently decided by the United States Supreme Court.
It is clearly understood that Congress and Congress alone sets the jurisdiction of the federal courts of our nation. If one were thoughtful enough to keep up with current events they would have known that in December of 2005, congress passed the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 . Within that act, the legislative branch in tune with the constitution as noted in Article III, specifically reads:
2) REVIEW OF DECISIONS OF COMBATANT STATUS REVIEW TRIBUNALS OF PROPRIETY OF DETENTION
(A) IN GENERAL- Subject to subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D), the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit shall have exclusive jurisdiction to determine the validity of any final decision of a Combatant Status Review Tribunal that an alien is properly detained as an enemy
(B) LIMITATION ON CLAIMS The jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit under this paragraph shall be limited to claims brought by or on behalf of an alien
i) who is, at the time a request for review by such court is filed, detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and
ii) for whom a Combatant Status Review Tribunal has been conducted, pursuant to applicable procedures specified by the Secretary of Defense

Now for those of us who pay attention, we know this case was already decided at the US Court of Appeals and it was ruled in favor of the Government. (Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. 415 F.3d 33, 367 USApp.DC). We can also note in the citation above that this particular court according to the statute passed, had exclusive authority on matters concerning combatants held in Guantanamo Bay. Also if you go on to read the statute a bit further you will come across the following:
(e) Except as provided in section 1005 of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider-- (1) an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; or (2) any other action against the United States or its agents relating to any aspect of the detention by the Department of Defense of an alien at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who (A) is currently in military custody; or (B) has been determined by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in accordance with the procedures set forth in section 1005(e) of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant.
In basic laymen's terms this is translated as follows: The US Court of Appeals has the final say on this according to the jurisdiction put forth by congress. The United States Supreme Court is not even allowed to meddle in its decision, or any other federal court for that matter.
Yet just by agreeing to hear the case as an appeal from the US Court of Appeals, the USSC chose to ignore the limits placed on it by Congress, which in itself is a clear violation of its boundaries. Where are the cries that the Judicial Branch is abusing its powers?

2 Comments:

At 7/04/2006 7:51 PM, Anonymous Lonta said...

Greg - thanks for putting it all in "layman's terms". You made it easy to understand. If only some newspaper or cable news show would do the same. Lonta

 
At 7/04/2006 10:24 PM, Blogger The Right Winged Male said...

Ok here's what I don't understand..... Liberals claim that terrorists are not bound by Geneva when they behead innocent Americans or Brits. So why are liberal Supreme Court Justices granting not only Geveva Protections but also US COnstititutional Protections to Terrorists who are Not US Citizens and are not POWs. They are "unlawful combatants".

The phrase "unlawful combatants", although not appearing in the Convention itself, has been used since at least the 1940s to describe prisoners not subject to the protections of the Convention.

Because many of the guerillas do not display a "fixed distinctive sign recognisable at a distance", they are traditionally not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Convention!!

 

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