Wednesday, June 18, 2008

John Yoo, Justice of the SCOTUS?

John Yoo, legal conservative extraordinaire, wrote an interesting editorial in the WSJ. He condemned their recent decision giving habeas corpus rights to the detainees at Guantanamo (the Boumediene decision). His reasoning was that these are prisoners of war taken from the battlefield, and such rights have never been given to POW’s. Further, he points out that several of the detainees (over 30), when released as mistakenly captured or whatever, have gone on to join the fight against the US in Iraq. Thus he says a clearly liberal court engaged in “judicial imperialism of the highest order”.

This is, of course, Mr. Yoo’s cover letter to John McCain. First vacancy on the Supremes, you should put me on if you want the right sorts of decisions on Iraq, Mr. Yoo all but screams. I won't go into the various criticisms I have read or heard about Mr. Yoo's editiorial, except to note the exist. Now, I don’t know if the Senate could bring themselves to confirm Mr. Yoo to the SCOTOUS (besides being an unabashed conservative, he is really young), but it hardly hurts to get oneself back on the national radar.

Mr. Yoo didn’t mention the lengthy dissent in Boumediene. Among the arguments (apparently), Justice Scalia states that the constitution stops at the “water’s edge” (except for you, Hawaii), which Mr. Yoo did obliquely refer to as a factor in the Justice Department’s choosing Guantanamo (no habeas for POW’s held outside the country). What’s ironic about that is that Maureen Dowd, covering George W Bush’s trip to Europe in today’s NYTimes, quotes him as saying:

” “There is some (sic) who say that perhaps freedom is not universal,” he asserted, adding that he rejected as elitist the notion that “maybe it’s only, you know, white-guy Methodists who are capable of self-government.””

I really enjoy the double standard the administration states with a straight (perhaps smiling) face. Freedom is universal, but only apparently the freedom to have a “unitary” chief executive. The rights of the United States are only for US citizens, you furiners can create your own rights for your own people. I assume Bush will next embrace Robert Mugabe as “my kind of leader”.

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