Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, April 03, 2006

Padilla Case Summed Up

I quickly read five lawblog summaries of the Supreme's decision not to hear Jose Padilla's case -- that as a U.S. citizen, he should have a speedy trial, even though his crime involves him being an enemy combatant in time of war. The clearest summary was at SCOTUSblog:
The decision was a victory for the Bush Administration in one significant sense: by not finding the case to be moot, the Court leaves intact a sweeping Fourth Circuit Court decision upholding the president's wartime power to seize an American inside the U.S. and detain him or her as a terrorist enemy, without charges and -- for an extended period -- without a lawyer. The Court, of course, took no position on whether that was the right result, since it denied review. The Second Circuit Court, at an earlier stage of Padilla's own case, had ruled just the opposite of the Fourth Circuit, denying the president's power to seize him in the U.S. and hold him. That ruling, though, no longer stands as a precedent, since the Supreme Court earlier shifted Padilla's case from the Second to the Fourth Circuit.
Hugh is typically suscinct:
The Chief Justice and Justice Stevens joined Justice Kennedy, which means three very different judicial philosophies agree that it is best, in time of war, not to rule on matters on which no ruling is necessary.
Also worth noting are the summaries at PrawfsBlawg and

hat-tip: memeorandum
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