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Hey, We’re Only Thinkin’ About Mr. Padilla

According to the NYTimes, lawyers for Jose Padilla have responded to the DoJ’s attempt to end run Supreme Court review of his case. And they have called out the Bush Administration:

The lawyers acknowledged that Mr. Padilla would prefer to be in civilian custody eventually. But they said it appeared that the only reason for the government’s rush to move him was to bolster the administration’s efforts to discourage the Supreme Court from reviewing the crucial underlying issue of whether President Bush had the authority to detain Mr. Padilla, an American citizen, as an enemy combatant for more than three years.

"The government had the power to transfer Padilla from physical military custody for more than three years, yet only now does it deem swift transfer imperative," Mr. Padilla’s lawyers argued in their brief filed Friday.

I know I have said this over and over, but it needs to be repeated until these idiots start paying attention: we are a nation of laws, not of the shifting whims of a President who would be King.

That an American citizen could be grabbed, taken out of the lawful criminal process, transferred to military supervision with little to no access to counsel for years is bad enough. But to then have the US Department of Justice try to pull a fast one on the judicial branch to cover the ass of the Preznit is beyond the pale, and such an incredible slap in the face of the separation of powers that I can’t even put my disgust into words.

Fortunately, the Fourth Circuit didn’t have that problem:

"These impressions have been left, we fear, at what may ultimately prove to be substantial cost to the government’s credibility before the courts, to whom it will one day need to argue again in support of a principle of assertedly like importance and necessity to the one that it seems to abandon today. While there could be an objective that could command such a price as all of this, it is difficult to imagine what that objective would be."

For a conservative circuit like the Fourth to be so disgusted with the Bush Administration is quite an accomplishment for the Administration hucksters involved in this case. Here’s hoping the Supreme Court is just as disgusted.

Scotusblog has more.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com