June 12, 2008

A Democracy Survives, Stronger for Generations

It appears the process of democratic revival that started after the 2006 congressional elections is now on its last victory lap.

Justices Rule Terror Suspects Can Appeal in Civilian Courts - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — Foreign terrorism suspects held at the Guantánamo Bay naval base in Cuba have constitutional rights to challenge their detention there in United States courts, the Supreme Court ruled, 5 to 4, on Thursday in a historic decision on the balance between personal liberties and national security.

"It's been said that democracy in America has been 'a series of narrow escapes.' Whew, that was a close one." Nina, Wisconsin

“The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the court.

It wouldn't surprise me that the inexorable shift in public sentiments helped stir the conscience of the odd judge or two who would otherwise have ruled in allegiance to their political masters. Or perhaps it was the realization that a new dispensation might assume those executive powers they are so loathe to check. Still, four judges continue to consider themselves and their institution unworthy of the right to review the executive powers.

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