Saturday, September 10, 2005

padilla ruling

Pardon me for expressing doubts, but I find it more than vaguely scary that the US 4th Circuit basically has ruled that the president can detain for as long as he wants any US citizen without bringing charges. What an utterly absurd ruling. I hope the Supreme Court overturns it, rather than taking a blindly partisan path and approving the de facto Bush administration's assertion that it can in fact exert this power.

Padilla sounds like a nut and is obviously potentially dangerous. But this ruling is also potentially dangerous, if it stands. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. The power to arrest and hold somebody forever without trial based solely on an assertion by the Justice Department that the person is a "enemy combatant" is far too sweeping for a country that values liberty.