Christine O’Donnell Just Loves the Supreme Court

Given a few days, Christine O’Donnell can think of something to say about the Judiciary, and the profoundly “activist,” revolutionarily recidivist Roberts Court is just fine by her:

The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito has returned to a rule-of-law court, so there is no longer a laundry list of recent disappointing decisions that stray from America’s founding principles.

But lest there be any doubt, a vote for the Republican Party continues to be a vote for indefinite detention, proudly and boldly asserted on the President’s say-so, with no input from the legislative branch:

Consequently there are no recent Supreme Court decisions with which I vigorously disagree, with the exception of Boumediene v. Bush in 2008, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in 2006 and Kelo v. City of New London in 2005. The court’s strong record in recent years proves the tremendous importance of appointing constitutionally based judges and Supreme Court Justices.

 For what it’s worth, even Justice Scalia thought the government went too far in Hamdan, by detaining an American citizen without recourse to legal process. Consensus has moved towards the Democrats on this issue, and it’s time for all the concern trolls to show their quality, and stand with us.


  1. “…a vote for the Republican Party continues to be a vote for indefinite detention…”

    Didn’t we just cover this one the other day? I think my last post onthat thread, with citations from various prominent liberals, never got a reply from you. I assumed it was an admission of defeat but maybe you just wanted to try the same point again a few days later?

    YOUR president is in favor of prolonged detention and has sought out an ‘ad-hoc legal framework’ to support it. Because the Congressional majority has not overriden this policy we can only assume agreement.

  2. I vaguely remember that but it’s been a busy week. In any event, the reply can be quite simple: is it your position that you expect the Republicans, if returned to power, to equal or exceed the Democrats’ civil rights record, as applied to enemy combatants, or anyone, for that matter?

    1. Given the Democrats acceptance of indefinite detention and the creation of a legal framework around it, I expect civil rights with regard to enemy combatants to remain at the status quo. Obama actually went a step beyond Bush so I certainly don’t see things getting worse.

      Moral of the story is that if civil rights for enemy comabatants is the issue you vote hinges on, in 2010 and 2012 you can probably just close your eyes and throw a dart at your ballot and get the same results.

    2. You’re going to have to explain how Obama went “a step beyond Bush.”

      1. Go back to the other post and watch the Rachel Maddow clip – she explains it perfectly.

  3. Yeah, that’s what I thought you were referring to. This is silly, and old, and this is why you don’t take things Rachel Maddow said without a grain of salt.

    The conflation with precrime is sophistry. It’s detention on the base of past acts for which no conviction is available; the comment on predilection to future misdeeds is a description of why it’s necessary, not a basis for entry into the system. And the reason no conviction is available is because past BUSH practices taint necessary evidence.

    By necessity, this is a subset of the Bush plan. Let me break it down.

    Pre-Bush: no detention without charge, access to legal process.
    Bush phase I: detention without charge permissible on administrative ipse dixit; no recourse to habeas.
    Boumediene v. Bush (which Bush opposed, and GOP’ers like Christine campaign against): habeas must run to detainees.
    Bush phase II (post-Boumediene equilibrium): indefinite detention without charge, but detainees may seek habeas review.

    Obama repudiated that rule, but as a nod to practicality, the system breaks down into three types of detainees. But note, at the outset, that the set of “all detainees” has closed. No new persons are being added. Of those that remain from the Bush years:
    Cat. 1, capable of trial, basis for criminality: try in the civilian courts.
    Cat. 2, capable of trial, Bush-era basis for criminality appears fabricated: release (Uighurs, released to Bahamas, e.g.).
    Cat. 3, incapable of trial due to past, discontinued torture/rendition: continue to detain, subject to habeas, a right that the gov’t under Obama no longer disputes.
    Remainder: see Cat. 1.

    Notice that Obama’s not adding new people to the system. And that he’s not disputing the remaining detainees’ claims to habeas. If they could, the GOP would roll ALL of that back. See the distinction?

    Note that this was a year ago, too. Examples, since then?

    1. So for Cat 3 – no legal recourse to a trial – correct?

      And why are the prisoners still there despite Obama ordering the camp closed?

  4. They’re entitled to habeas and an evidentiary hearing if they meet the grounds under 28 usc 2255. All of which the GOP would prefer denied them.

    1. And if they don’t meet the grounds? What’s next for them?

  5. SOL. Yeah, I don’t love that. But this ought to caution about flirting with parties that outright abandon the rule of law for a few years. It’s that legacy that Obama’s struggling against, not ratifying.

    1. But wasn’t there a vote in 2009 to close Gitmo and get these guys into the US which was voted down by 90-6? I think it’s logical to believe that if Congress had approved that they would eventually get their day in court. Democrats chickened out.

      1. Yes they did, and it shames our Party mightily. That said, I see no likelihood of reversion to pre-Bush under the current crop of Republicans. We can mince words, sling citations, and generally pile it on, but this fundamental truth remains – the U.S. has shed the right to due process on both sides of the aisle, and it is now being slowly hammered home on American citizens (albeit of a darker complexion and certain fundamentalist beliefs).

        1. So then to circle back around to Ames’ post, shouldn’t we amend his statement to, “…But lest there be any doubt, a vote for either party continues to be a vote for indefinite detention…”?

          1. yes, but being a lawyer, Ames has apparently concluded that since Congress has made this legal, he needs to focus on other things. Me, not so much.

            1. But the interesting thing is that he isn’t focusing on other things. He’s focusing on this and ignoring the complicity of his own side to score cheap points with the un-informed who might stumble onto his site.

            2. I think it’s probably true that if Congress fell into line, then it would be done by now. You’re right, the Senate is basically terrible. But of the six that voted to close, how many were Republicans? Of the entities holding up enforcement of Obama’s EO, how many are Republicans? I admit that we’re not perfect. But putting the GOP back into power goes from a 40% chance of eventual justice, say, to a 0% one.

              1. So then why not run solid challengers against the 50+ Democrats who voted against closing Gitmo? Why not withdraw primary support from the party? Why not kill their fundraising?

              2. Presumably because they’d lose. Like Sharron Angle.

                1. If the party wants someone out – the’ll be out. The apparatus goes away and with it their candidacy.

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  7. If you want Democrats with a spine, quiet the anti-rule of law, extremist forces on your side of the aisle. Thanks to extremists like Gingrich and Liz Cheney, neither today nor in 2008 has the environment been safe for rule-of-law Democrats. I entirely agree with you that they’re needed, but the notion that it’s entirely our party’s fault, for not standing up for principles and getting uniformly trounced, is ridiculous.

    1. So it’s the Right’s fault that we have spinless Democrats? Flip that around and are you suggesting that if we want to get rid of TP folks then liberals need to sqaush the uber-liberal rhetoric on their side that agitates them?

      You control your own destiny Ames. If Democrats ran ‘rule-of-law’ candidates and made a good case to the electorate, they would win. And the truth is that a lot of those people who voted against closing Gitmo have been in the senate a long time, well before the Right supposedly subverted the electorate. They could have voted their concience and then explained it to the voters. But politics prevails…

    2. So politics exists in a vacuum? Politics is the art of the Possible, not the “wouldn’t it be nice if”

      1. So then don’t complain when the Right blames A, B & C on the Left. You can’t have it both ways Ames.

  8. Steve Jeffers · ·

    This Tea Partier loves the Constitution so much she … you couldn’t make this up … hasn’t got as far as the First Amendment. That’s been widely reported. But keep watching. She gets huffy when she’s expected to know what the Fourteenth Amendment is.

    The audience gasps, gasps again, then laughs.

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