Padilla - A blanket denial of due process
Ask and ye shall receive. This case is horrifying in its implications and fell way under the radar, so I'm glad to see Glenn Reynolds give it a boost. He links to Tim Lynch at the National Law Journal. Excerpts:
But that is the upshot of the Padilla ruling. The federal government has been given a green light to deprive Americans of their rights to due process. No arrest warrants. No trial. No access to the civilian court system. You may not be able to see it on television, but this court decision is the equivalent of a legal hurricane-and it is no exaggeration to say that this is a level 5 storm with respect to its potential havoc for civil libertiesIf you haven't started worrying about the police state yet, you should start now. Lynch says the black helicopters won't be coming to the suburbs for your neighbors any time soon, but I think that depends on which side of the political fence they're on. Given this administration's proclivity to prosecute dissenters, I wouldn't bet the farm that it couldn't happen in the next three years.
Bush has not made any dramatic televised address to the country to explain his administration's attempt to suspend habeas corpus and the Bill of Rights, but his lawyers have been quietly pushing a sweeping theory of executive branch power in legal briefs before our courts.
The president's lawyers stress that America is at war and that the "laws of war" are now in effect. By "laws of war," they mean that the president has assumed broad powers as commander-in-chief so that he can "protect the country." The constitutional rights of the citizenry, in this view, are no longer the law of the land. A federal appellate court has now validated this ominous paradigm of military law.