I know what you're thinking: could you be a little more specific? I mean, this is the chamber that brought us McCain-Feingold, after all.
I'm talking about Tuesday's decision by a margin of 84-14 to grant federal judges the authority to ultimately determine what constitutes an "enemy combatant".
Again, this seems like such a bad idea as to be axiomatic, but let me make a couple of points. First, is that judges are trained in civil and criminal procedure. I think they will likely attempt to hold the military to an unrealistic standard in the courtroom (where there is generally less lead flying about). Second is that most judges have little or no military expertise. So, just what the heck makes them qualified at all, much less more qualified than battlefield commanders, to make this determination?
Andrew McCarthy has a good essay on why this decision makes no sense. One of the points he makes in this essay with which I strongly agree is that this is another symptom of the disease of litigousness that is eating away at our society.
Mr. McCarthy is a former federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York. Among other high-profile cases he has participated in, he helped to prosecute and convict the plotters in the first World Trade Center bombing case. If you are interested in the legal aspect of the Global War on Terror, I highly recommend his writings to you.
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