THE NY TIMES REPORTED TODAY:
In a stinging rejection of one of the Bush administration’s central assertions about the scope of executive authority to combat terrorism, a federal appeals court ordered the Pentagon to release a man being held as an enemy combatant.
“To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians, Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote, “even if the President calls them ‘enemy combatants,’ would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution — and the country.”
“We refuse to recognize a claim to power,” Judge Motz added, “that would so alter the constitutional foundations of our Republic.”
The ruling was handed down by a divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., in the case of Ali al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar and the only person on the American mainland known to be held as an enemy combatant.
Rumpole says: About time.