Monday, October 1, 2007

Kennedy the Key Vote

Guantanamo Bay Detainees Case:
Supreme Court Begins News Term

by Hummmbert

The detainees at Guantanamo Bay case is on the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court. The big question this time around for court-watchers: Which way will swing voter Anthony Kennedy vote? He voted with the court's liberals the last several times.
From The AP -- The Supreme Court begins its new term Monday with the justices expected to announce they declined to intervene in hundreds of cases.

The court, which by law convenes the first Monday in October, also will hear arguments in two cases, a Washington state dispute over its political primaries and an appeal from New York that asks when taxpayers must foot the bill for expensive private school for special education children.

The new Court term could lead to enhanced rights for terrorism detainees, a ruling against part of a child pornography law and shorter prison terms for crack cocaine dealers. Little seems changed on the bench, where Justice Anthony Kennedy remains the decisive vote between four conservatives and four liberals.
Court watchers will be trying to discern clues as to how Anthony Kennedy will be voting on the Gitmo case. Kennedy remains the key to two earlier decisions.
On the court's calendar, the headline case so far involves the legal rights of Guantanamo detainees. The justices twice before have ruled that suspected terrorists held at the U.S. naval base in Cuba could pursue challenges to their indefinite confinement in U.S. civilian courts.

Each time, the Bush administration and Congress, then under Republican control, have changed the law to try to limit the detainees' rights.

"This is the most generous set of procedures ever afforded to a nation's military adversaries in the history of the world. They are, however, far short of what would be afforded a U.S. citizen caught up in the civilian justice system," said Brad Berenson, who served under Bush in the White House counsel's office.

Kennedy voted with the court's liberals in both earlier cases; many scholars expect him to do so again.
The big queestion remains: Which way will Kennedy swing to this time? Will Guantanamo Bay detainees be treated as prisoners of war, criminals or something in between? - Bigger, Better!.

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