Muslim group calls decision ‘victory for objective justice,’ calls for prison to be closedBy Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

12 June 2008: The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have rights under the U.S. Constitution to challenge their detention in civilian courts.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called the decision a “victory for objective justice,” noting that the court’s decision maintains the integrity of the Constitution in overturning hastily-passed congressional legislation that provided inadequate legal recourse to detainees.

Excerpted -Chief Justice Roberts’ dissent: So who has won? Not the detainees. The Court’s analysis leaves them with only the prospect of further litigation to determine the content of their new habeas right, followed by further litigation to resolve their particular cases, followed by further litigation before the D. C. Circuit—where they could have started had they invoked the DTA procedure. Not Congress, whose attempt to “determine—through democratic means—how best” to balance the security of the American people with the detainees’ liberty interests, has been unceremoniously brushed aside. Not the Great Writ, whose majesty is hardly enhanced by its extension to a jurisdictionally quirky outpost, with no tangible benefit to anyone. Not the rule of law, unless by that is meant the rule of lawyers, who will now arguably have a greater role than military and intelligence officials in shaping policy for alien enemy combatants. And certainly not the American people, who today lose a bit more control over the conduct of this Nation’s foreign policy to unelected, politically unaccountable judges.