Sunday, March 26, 2006

Scalia's mind is made up

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. At issue is what rights detainees at Gitmo have for due process and a fair trial.

Justice Scalia, however, has already made up his mind. Newsweek reports that at a judicial conference in Switzerland two weeks ago, Scalia unloaded his opinions on the rights (or lack thereof) that detainees have:
"War is war, and it has never been the case that when you captured a combatant you have to give them a jury trial in your civil courts. Give me a break. If he was captured by my army on a battlefield, that is where he belongs. I had a son on that battlefield and they were shooting at my son and I'm not about to give this man who was captured in a war a full jury trial. I mean it's crazy.
It's not so much that Scalia is on a particular side of this issue that upsets me. It's more that one right wing judicial nominee after another has dodged important questions during confirmation hearings by stating that he/she cannot comment on issues that may come before him on the court. Now, merely two weeks before the Hamdan case, one of the most important executive power cases in recent years, is coming before the court, Scalia has basically stated how he is going to rule.

If Scalia wants to be a legal pundit, that's fine. A career on Fox News fits his angry, pugnacious style. But he can't be a Supreme Court justice at the same time.


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