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Monday, April 02, 2007

What Is the Supreme Court Trying to Say ?

I am totally confused. The Supreme Court refused to hear the petition for Habeus Corpus relief from inmates in Guantanamo.

The Washington Post Headline sent me into dispair

Court Denies Appeal From Guantanamo Detainees

Further down, however, the court, or rather Stevens and Kennedy (known as the swingers) seem to be sending Bush and the gang of four (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito) a message writing

"Despite the obvious importance of the issues raised in these cases, we are persuaded that traditional rules governing our decision of constitutional questions . . . and our practice of requiring the exhaustion of available remedies as a precondition to accepting jurisdiction over applications for the writ of habeas corpus . . . make it appropriate to deny these petitions at this time," Justices John Paul Stevens and Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in a statement.

However, the court's policy does not require "the exhaustion of inadequate remedies," they noted, adding, "If petitioners later seek to establish that the Government has unreasonably delayed proceedings under the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 . . . or some other and ongoing injury, alternative means exist for us to consider our jurisdiction over the allegations made by petitioners before the Court of Appeals."

If the government were to take "additional steps to prejudice the position of petitioners in seeking review in this Court," the statement said, courts with jurisdiction, including the Supreme Court, should act promptly to uphold the writ of habeas corpus.

To me that sounds as if they have overturned the provision depriving the inmates of the right of habeas corpus. The decision, as I read it, seems to just say that the inmates have to give the military tribunal's and the related appeals process a try, before complaining (as will be their right ?) to the supreme court.

By they way, the DC circuit seems to feel free to ignore findings of the Supreme Court. They declared that Guantanamo is not US territory. Wasn't that settled ? Does the Supreme Court just let lower courts ignore their decisions ?

I am very confused. What do I do ? I go to of course. All I learned there was that Michael Froomkin has had 1700002 visits which is not what I wanted to know but is a very round (and large) number.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is axiomatic that grants or denials of certiorari are not to be read as expressions of opinion on the merits of the issues presented . . .