Friday, July 09, 2004

Saved by the Supremes

I've got to give the man his due. In the recent Hamdi decision, Justice Antonin Scalia, in a rebuke of the Bush Administration's claim to almost supreme executive power in its administration of the "war on terror," wrote:

"Many think it is not only inevitable but entirely proper that liberty give way to security in times of national crisis. . . . Whatever the general merits of the view that war silences law or modulates its voice, that view has no place in the interpretation and application of a Constitution designed precisely to confront war and, in a manner that accords with democratic principles, to accommodate it."

In times of crisis, perhaps the true measure of a man or of a form of government can be found. Since September 11, 2001, the executive and legislative branches of our government have repeatedly been tested and found wanting when it came to demonstrating through their actions that they were committed to the high ideals of the Constitution. Out system of government was redeemed by the branch from which I expected much less. The Supreme Court and each of the eight justices who found in favor of Hamdi in this case (Thomas was the lone dissenter) deserve the gratitude of each of us.
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