A federal appeals court ruled today that the president can indefinitely detain a U.S. citizen captured on U.S. soil in the absence of criminal charges, holding that such authority is vital to protect the nation from terrorist attacks.
This decision was part of the Joseph Padilla case. Padilla is/was a gang member who allegedly attended al Qaeda training camps and planned to "blow up apartment buildings in the United States."
I have no doubt this Padilla character is a real bad man. But we've dealt with a lot of real bad men in this country's history, and didn't need to override the Bill of Rights to handle them.
Speaking of bad men...
Here's the really, really scary part:
The decision by a three-judge panel was written by Judge J. Michael Luttig, who is one of a number of people under consideration by President Bush for nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Granting the president absolute power seems to be the way to get on the Supreme Court these days. It worked like a charm for John Roberts.
Judge John G. Roberts Jr. was interviewing for a possible Supreme Court nomination with top Bush administration officials at the same time he was presiding over a terrorism case of significant importance to President Bush.
Roberts...met with Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and other administration officials about the Supreme Court job while sitting on the three-judge panel that eventually allowed Bush to resume the use of military officers to conduct trials of terrorist suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Can you say "Torquemada?"