Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Supreme Court Justices: Bobblehead Doll Edition

Thanks to some friends in D.C. and the George Mason School of Law, I am now the proud owner of Justice David Souter, Fidel Castro, and Justice Louis Brandeis bobblehead dolls. (Bet you never thought you'd see those three names in the same sentence.) I am not materialistic, but I love collecting things that are associated with good memories. Justice Brandeis and Justice Souter are two of my favorite Justices. I don't have any good memories relating to Castro, but it's the GTMO version, and I received it from a former law school classmate who is representing GTMO detainees. To me, it represents due process of law, or at least a reminder that America owes all its detainees some form of a fair trial.

Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficial. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasions of their liberty--by evil-minded rulers. The greater dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding. -- Justice Louis Brandeis

JUSTICE BREYER: On that question, suppose that you are from Bosnia, and you are held for six years in Guantanamo, and the charge is that you helped Al-Qaeda, and you had your hearing before the CSRT [Combatant Status Review Tribunal].

And now you go to the D.C. Circuit, and here is what you say: The CSRT is all wrong. Their procedures are terrible. But just for purposes of argument, I concede those procedures are wonderful, and I also conclude it reached a perfectly good result.

Okay? So you concede it for argument's sake. But what you want to say is: Judge, I don't care how good those procedures are. I'm from Bosnia. I've been here six years. The Constitution of the United States does not give anyone the right to hold me six years in Guantanamo without either charging me or releasing me, in the absence of some special procedure in Congress for preventive detention.

That's the argument I want to make. I don't see anything in this CSRT provision that permits me to make that argument. So I'm asking you: Where can you make that argument?

GENERAL CLEMENT: I'm not sure that he could make that argument.


Parents are known to overreact to protect their children from danger, and a school official with responsibility for safety may tend to do the same. The difference is that the Fourth Amendment places limits on the official, even with the high degree of deference that courts must pay to the educator’s professional judgment. -- Justice David Souter

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fidel many memories from my two years in GTMO..thanks...just put mine in my office yesterday...took plastic off from around neck