Monday, June 11, 2007

The Unusual Suspects, Part 2: Fourth Circuit puts Citizens First

by Ken Houghton

I leave the details to Scott, but the Fourth Circuit is not traditionally the least "liberal" (read: believing in civil rights) District Court. So this one comes as a Very Pleasant Surprise:
The Bush administration cannot legally detain a U.S. resident it suspects of being an al-Qaida sleeper agent without charging him, a divided federal appeals court ruled Monday.

"To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians, even if the President calls them 'enemy combatants,' would have disastrous consequences for the constitution - and the country," the court panel said.

In the 2-1 decision, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel found that the federal Military Commissions Act doesn't strip Ali al-Marri, a legal U.S. resident, of his constitutional rights to challenge his accusers in court.

It ruled the government must allow al-Marri to be released from military detention.

First the WSJ Editorial page, now the Fourth District. Perhaps, eventually, the truth does set you free.


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