06/28/2004: Holy Sh*t Department.....
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that foreign terrorism suspects at a U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba can use the American legal system to challenge their detention, a major defeat for President Bush.The thing that scares me is that there were three dissenting opinions. So far, they're not saying who the three dissenters are, but my guess is Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas.
By a 6-3 vote, the justices ruled that American courts do have jurisdiction to consider the claims of the prisoners who say in their lawsuits they are being held illegally in violation of their rights.
Justice John Paul Stevens said for the majority that U.S. courts have jurisdiction to consider challenges to the legality of the detention of foreign nationals captured abroad in connection with hostilities and incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay. [my emphasis --LRC]
But you can rest easy that the 6 in the majority got it right: the opinion is written by Justice Stevens, who is, IMHO, the one justice on the court who definitely has his shit together.
Even if he is a Northwestern Law alum.
Meanwhile..., the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has apparently removed the sword of Damocles, in a manner of speaking. Contra Bishop Sheridan of Colorado Springs, the USCCB has apparently issued a position paper stating that Catholic voters can vote for a candidate who is pro-choice on the abortion issue as long as their support for the candidate is not based on her/his support for abortion rights:
It is important to note that Cardinal Ratzinger makes a clear distinction between public officials and voters, explaining that a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil only if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion. However, when a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted if there are proportionate reasons.Interestingly enough, note that it's Cardinal Ratzinger, who can, given his high office in the curia, be thought to be speaking for the Pope himself, who delivered the smackdown to Sheridan re: his silliness with respect to "voters who vote for pro-choice candidates can't take communion". Further, while the USCCB document seems to leave the ultimate decision re: Catholic politicians with each individual bishop, note that there is some language here which suggests that politicizing the Eucharist isn't A Good Thing:
Therefore, based on the traditional practice of the Church and our consultation with members of our conference, other episcopal conferences, distinguished canonists and theologians, our Task Force does not advocate the denial of Communion for Catholic politicians or Catholic voters in these circumstances. [my emphasis --LRC]Even a blind hog finds an acorn occasionally, as one of my dear friends would say....
Len on 06.28.04 @ 12:06 PM CST