October 08, 2008

Obama & Oct. 7 Gitmo Decision

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina’s order yesterday that 17 Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo Bay be released into the United States – specifically, the Washington, DC area – against the President’s wishes, reminds us of two things:

1) The Supreme Court’s June 2008 Boumediene decision, which bestowed the right of habeas corpus on terror suspects held at Gitmo and was denounced by many critics of judicial activism, has very real consequences for Americans. Just ask those Washington, DC area residents who will soon be living down the block from men that until recently were classified as enemy combatants. We hope that these men pose no danger to the United States, but that’s not really the point. In the wake of Boumediene, unelected judges can overrule the President’s decisions concerning the conduct of the War on Terror, so it’s just a matter of time before Americans pay the price.

2) Whether Barack Obama or John McCain appoints federal judges for the next four years will have a profound impact on the War on Terror. McCain denounced the Boumediene decision, while Obama praised it. But most importantly, as we noted in our October 3 e-mail, Obama has been unabashed about his intention to appoint liberal judicial activists to the federal bench. If Obama has his way, Judge Ricardo Urbina will have plenty of like-minded company. If the result is enemy combatants living down the block, will a president who once palled around with domestic terrorists care?