Friday, January 11, 2008
At least it's not just Congress' fault. The federal courts continued their abdication of responsibility to oversee the Constitution today when the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Washington decided that four British citizens held at Guantanamo Bay prison could not sue the Pentagon and the military over alleged torture and religious rights violations. The ruling went beyond a federal trial judge's decision to dismiss most of the lawsuit -- except for the religious rights claims -- by dismissing the entire suit. Look, if these guys were held by the United States and tortured or treated inhumanely, why shouldn't they have a chance to go to court and prove their claims? Yes, we're at war with terrorists and the security of the United States may be at risk, but it's our basic laws and principles that we're defending -- the same laws and principles that our courts are treating so lightly. The courts were the last hope of turning around the government stampede over constitutional checks and balances -- solving this problem at the ballot box will take a very determined effort over a very long time.