The last major detainee case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court was denied cert today, on the same 6-3 basis as the previous one. Liberal Justice Stevens voted not to grant cert, probably, again, because he didn't trust Justice Kennedy to vote the right way on the merits. I personally think that Justice Stevens made the wrong call both times at grave cost to the integrity of the Constitution.
Bottom line: The Military Commissions Act of 2006 has successfully shut down almost all legal avenues to challenge indefinite executive detention and mistreatment of those detainees, despite the fact that the 2-1 D.C. Circuit ruling upholding the law seemed to defy previous war on terror precedents of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Kangaroo court Combat Status Review hearings, and procedurally deficient Military Commissions for the 3% or so of detainees who may face war crime charges (under a statutorily greatly expanded definition of war crimes), are all that remain. The MCA provides for exceedingly limited review by the D.C. Circuit, whose past precedents seem to foreclose relief in any case.
The doors of the court house are definitively closed now. The international embarassment that is the Bush Administration enemy combatant policy is now a deep threat to the liberty of all of us, and the only way anything can be done about it is through Congressional action, something unlikely to prevail in the face of President Bush's power to veto legislation.
We have been deeply betrayed by Senator Ken Salazar, and Congressman John Salazar from Colorado whose critical swing votes helped make this possible. They gambled on the courts fixing the flaws they knew about in the MCA when they voted for it. But, the gamble was lost. Their votes to sold out our freedoms by voting for the MCA.
I hurts to know that even the Democrats in Congress from Colorado are torture enablers. When I worked hard campaigning for Ken Salazar in 2004, I'd had every reason to hope for a better performance.