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Bruce Ackerman bruce.ackerman at yale.edu
Ian Ayres ian.ayres at yale.edu
Corey Brettschneider corey_brettschneider at brown.edu
Mary Dudziak mary.l.dudziak at emory.edu
Joey Fishkin joey.fishkin at gmail.com
Heather Gerken heather.gerken at yale.edu
Abbe Gluck abbe.gluck at yale.edu
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Sanford Levinson slevinson at law.utexas.edu
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Hamdan Decided-- Geneva Conventions Not So "Quaint" After All
The Supreme Court decided today that the Bush Administration lacked authority to set up military tribunals for the Guantanamo detainees, and that the tribunals also violated both applicable military law and the Geneva Conventions.
Justice Stevens wrote the main opinion, joined by Justices Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, and joined in part by Justice Kennedy, who wrote separately. Chief Justice Roberts, who joined in the opinion of the D.C. Circuit below, recused himself. Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito each wrote dissenting opinions.
As Marty notes over on SCOTUSBlog, the big news is that the Court has now held that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions are judicially enforceable and binding on the President. That provision of the Geneva Conventions also bans cruel treatment and torture. The Supreme Court has decided that the Geneva Conventions aren't so quaint after all.
My heart is with all those lawyers whom, in the courts and outside (especially academics), have stood and continue to stand up to all of these gross attacks against the rule of law. It is thanks to their efforts that they and, as a consequence, democracy in the US and around the world, are the true winners today. Congratulations and keep up the good fight!
maybe Peter, but I'm nonetheless breathing a sigh of relief. It’s hard imagine anything that would play better into the hands of our enemies than for the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the President to ignore the Geneva Conventions.