Friday, June 30, 2006

authoritarianism delayed for now

The Supreme Court's ruling yesterday that military tribunals for terrorists weren't legal because the president doesn't have the authority to create such new courts (courts designed NOT to protect the rights of defendants) showed that there are some limits on power. We elected a president*, not a king.

Obviously, the ruling that the Congressional authorization for the de facto Bush administration to go into Afghanistan does NOT equal a carte blanche to do whatever they want just because they claim it's connected to the war on terrorism will bring further into doubt the legality of the NSA's domestic eavesdropping and other Cheney-Bush liberty-eroding, presidential-authority-boosting, constitution-shredding policies.

The 5-3 vote (really 5-4 since new Chief Justice Roberts voted with the Administration in an earlier appeal) also shows how close the Court is to tipping. I pray that the health of John Paul Stephens and the other members of Thursday's majority remains good until January 2009.

*Well, actually we didn't ELECT this president either, but you get my point.