Monday, February 28, 2005

Presidential powers unlimited

That would be a name for a great game show. You go around the world doing whatever you damn well please, and if anyone gives you any guff, you slap them with a sticker that says "Enemy Combatant." But that is only real in the fantasy world of television. US District Judge Henry F. Floyd, in a follow-up to Rumsfeld v Padilla and Hamdi v Rumsfeld, ruled that either the US has to let Jose Padilla go or charge him with a crime. His ruling states explicitly that the power to suspend the writ of habeus corpus lies soley with the Legislative branch, and any extension of the Executive's powers flows from the Legislative. In other words, in order to have the powers Bush claims to declare people "enemy combatants" and detain them without trial indefinitely, Congress would have declare so. That's a pretty reasonable ruling. Judge Floyd did allow for the government to re-arrest him as a material witness or by charging him with a crime. But I don't think that's going to happen. The intelligence used to apprehend Padilla would be over 33 months old now, I doubt it is going to negatively affect our national security. But they don't want to do that, they would rather just hold US citizens in jail for no reason. If I'm wrong, let the government prove it by charging Padilla with the crime they accuse him of.

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