Why This Court Keeps Rebuking This President
And never is the court more reluctant to act than when faced with a challenge to the president during wartime. Consider the historical record.
The court has ruled against a president in a time of armed conflict no more than a handful of times, most famously in Youngstown Sheet and Tube v. Sawyer, when it held that Harry S. Truman lacked the constitutional authority to seize the nation’s steel mills to avert a strike during the Korean War. The invocation of two words — military necessity — by a commander in chief was usually all it took to silence a majority of the justices.
So it is extraordinary that during the Bush administration’s seven years, nearly all of them a time of war that began on Sept. 11, 2001, the court has been prompted to push back four times. Last week’s decision in Boumediene v. Bush, in which the court ruled that prisoners at Guantánamo Bay have a right to challenge their detentions in the federal courts, marks only the most recent rebuke.
“When viewed through the lens of history, it’s astounding,” says Neal Katyal, a law professor at Georgetown who argued against the government in one of those cases, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. So how are we to explain this shift from decades of deference to a willingness to check the president?
comments powered by Disqus
Vernon Clayson - 6/20/2008
The entire court doesn't rebuke the president, only that part that was displeased with the president adding conservatives and especially his making one of the new and conservative justices the chief justice. As grand as they believe themselves to be they are biased and petty, small men. They yearn for an Earl Warren, a chief justice to bring back opinions so favored by the liberals, government as big daddy. That's except for the police, to Warren and his ilk the police are jack booted thugs, while violent criminals are merely misguided persons who, with a little guidance, will be productive and decent citizens, far superior to heavy handed coppers.
Randll Reese Besch - 6/18/2008
Wish the Congress would too and stop this administration from continuing the war crime that is Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Hull of Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley Found 150 Years Later
- U.S. Textbook Skews History, Prime Minister of Japan Says
- Recalling a Film From the Liberation of the Camps
- Skull Fossil Offers New Clues on Human Journey From Africa
- Are crude conspiracies right? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil
- Ronald Suny says historians have shied away from exploring the roots of the Armenian genocide for fear of taking attention away from the victims
- Columbia University professors Eric Foner, Alan Brinkley, and Alice Kessler-Harris to retire
- A powerhouse appropriations subcommittee is now headed by a historian: Republican Rep. Tom Cole (OK)
- Slavic scholars divided over a scholarship sponsored (and withdrawn) by Stephen F. Cohen
- Claire Strom to Step Down as Editor of Agricultural History