Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Supreme Court Rejects Retroactive Terrorist Rights

Terrorist rights supporters suffered another loss yesterday when the Supreme Court refused to review the dismissal of a case brought by former Guantanamo detainees. According to one of the leading terrorist rights groups, the court ruled that
the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a statute that applies by its terms to all “persons” did not apply to detainees at Guantanamo, effectively ruling that the detainees are not persons at all for purposes of U.S. law.
And they shouldn't be. Foreign terror suspects should not be entitled to U.S. Constitutional rights.
the circuit court found that, even if torture and religious abuse were illegal, defendants were immune under the Constitution because they could not have reasonably known that detainees at Guantanamo had any Constitutional rights.
That should be obvious. After 9/11, the idea that foreign terrorist suspects had Constitutional rights would have been rightly ridiculed as preposterous. Unfortunately, after the immediate impact of the terror attack faded, terrorist rights supporters conducted an effective campaign that led the courts to grant some rights, in violation of longstanding interpretations of the constitution and general practice. But the court shot down this attempt by former detainees to pretend that such "rights" were always present, and had been violated. Here's their attorney.
“It is an awful day for the rule of law and common decency when the Supreme Court lets stand such an inhuman decision.
It's a good day for the rule of law, when the law isn't distorted to give foreign terror suspects rights they never had. And common decency was upheld by not allowing a baseless case against those trying to defend the country under difficult circumstances.
The final word on whether these men had a right not to be tortured or a right to practice their religion free from abuse is that they did not.
Correct. They had no rights, and should have had none.
Future prospective torturers can now draw comfort from this decision.
Let's hope so. It's quite possible we may face another situation where torture is necessary, or something that's called "torture," given its increasingly broad and nearly meaningless definition. If measures later deemed to be "torture" are authorized, those who carry them out shouldn't face legal action based on rule changes after the fact.

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