Friday, June 13, 2008

McCain slams Supreme Court on terrorist detainees

Associated Press

Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Friday sharply denounced a Supreme Court decision that gave suspected terrorist detainees a right to seek their release in federal courts.

"I think it's one of the worst decisions in history," McCain said. "It opens up a whole new chapter and interpretation of our constitution."

McCain is one of the authors of the 2006 Military Commissions Act which set up procedures for the handling of detainees. The act denied the detainees access to federal courts.

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that provision of the law violated the constitution.

McCain on Thursday said he had not read the ruling and reserved his criticism. But on Friday, speaking to about 1,500 people at a town hall meeting in Pemberton, N.J., he attacked the decision, saying the law he helped write "made it very clear that these are enemy combatants, they are not citizens, they do not have the rights of citizens."

The issue could be potent for McCain, who often encounters questions from audiences about how he would go about selecting potential justices for the court. McCain often cites Chief Justice John Roberts as the type of justice he would nominate. On Friday he especially praised him for his dissent in the detainee case.

McCain spoke to reporters after the town hall, accompanied by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who helped him write the military commissions law.

"What happened yesterday was unprecedented," Graham said. "Americans are going to be shocked to find that that mastermind of 9-11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, now has the same legal standing as an American citizen."

Military Commissions Act of 2006

President George W. Bush looks up as he signs the Military Commissions Act of 2006 in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The bill effectively nullifies nine of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution and ends the "great experiment" known as The United States of America.

The White House has made it perfectly clear that it will target American citizens for propagating information harmful to the interests of the U.S. government and classify them as enemy combatants. This is codified in sub-section 27 of section 950v. of the Military Commissions Act.

Keith Olbermann: Military Commissions Act of 2006

1 comment:

spcmckay said...

Keith Olberman may be the best reporter on television.


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