A Decision on Detainees

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The Commander in Chief got his comeuppance in court yesterday. In two historic decisions, the Supreme Court ruled that while the President is free to detain citizens and non-citizens as enemy combatants, he can’t keep them from having their day in court, not even in wartime.

The decision is a check on the power of the President, until now, he had denied legal rights for detainees saying he could not let the United States’ “enemies use the forums of liberty to destroy liberty itself.” But the decision doesn’t mean the some 600 prisoners at Guantanamo are going anywhere, anytime soon. All it means is that they can now file lawsuits and learn what they are charged with. New rulings in the war on terror, and throttling back the power of the President.


Christine Huskey, a lawyer with Shearman and Sterling, the law firm representing a group of Kuwaiti prisoners in Guantanamo:David Rivkin, partner in the Washington office of Baker & Hostetler:Khaled al-Oda, heads group of family members of Kuwaiti prisoners.