Did I just hear a door slam shut?

Or is it simply that the keys to our American National Security were copied and given out freely to our greatest enemies by five elderly people who serve on our nations’ highest court?

Today, our nations’ Supreme Court, by a slim margin of one, held that foreign terrorism suspects have rights to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts, and in their majority opinion awarded these unlawful combatants the “privilege of the writ of habeas corpus”

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a very strong dissent.

America is at war with radical Islamists. The enemy began by killing Americans and American allies abroad: 241 at the Marine barracks in Lebanon, 19 at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, 224 at our embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, and 17 on the USS Cole in Yemen. See National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 60–61, 70, 190 (2004).

On September 11, 2001, the enemy brought the battle to American soil, killing 2,749 at the Twin Towers in New York City, 184 at the Pentagon in Washington, D. C., and 40 in Pennsylvania. See id., at 552, n. 9. It has threatened further attacks against our homeland; one need only walk about buttressed and barricaded Washington, or board a plane anywhere in the country, to know that the threat is a serious one.

Our Armed Forces are now in the field against the enemy, in Afghanistan and Iraq. Last week, 13 of our countrymen in arms were killed.

The game of bait-and-switch that today’s opinion plays upon the Nation’s Commander in Chief will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.

This was not only a dissent but a scathing dissent.

Bruce Kesler writes….

The arguments persuasive to the majority are that a strict interpretation of the Constitution only permits the suspension of habeas corpus in the event of domestic rebellion or invasion, and that Guantanamo is effectively under US jurisdiction. The dissents point out that the executive and Congress followed the Supreme Court’s prior ruling to provide a practical equivalent for the detainees at Guantanamo, and now the majority disregards its own ruling.

Did they have an Emily Litella moment?

The United States Constitution specifically included the English common law procedure in the Suspension Clause, located in Article One, Section 9. It states:

“ The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

I am obviously a layman when it comes to the law but I can read very well. I would assert that the attack by al Qaeda on September 11th, 2001 constituted both a rebellion, and an invasion and that public safety does require that the terrorists being held at Guantanamo be denied that privilege.

The use of the word privilege by Justice Kennedy in writing for the majority especially rankles.

According to the Law Encyclopedia:Privilege

A particular benefit, advantage, or immunity enjoyed by a person or class of people that is not shared with others. A power of exemption against or beyond the law. It is not a right but, rather, exempts one from the performance of a duty, obligation, or liability.

As American citizens we do enjoy freedoms and responsibilities. We pay our taxes, we obey the laws of the land and up until now, we have had the freedom of dissent. We are allowed to speak out when we are in disagreement with a policy, a law, a decision.

We are privileged to live in a nation with three separate and equal branches of government, the legislative, the executive and the judicial. With today’s decision the Supreme Court has in essence superseded the executive and the legislative branches. The five justices ignored their own precedent, and ignored law, and made a political decision for political reasons.
They have usurped the power of the Executive branch, and taken away the power of the United States military and their tribunals.

Detainees’ rights (and privileges) are now considered more important than American citizens’ own right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And, yes, I know that those three American aspects came from our Declaration of Independence, not our constitution.

The Supreme Court is the end of the road, a cul de sac.

To whom do we go to get our safety now?

Hugh Hewitt explains why all Americans should be alarmed.

Bruce Kesler calls it lawfare.

Here is John Podhoretz’s well written dissent.