Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Judge - Charge Padilla, Or Release Him
U.S. District Judge Henry Floyd in Spartanburg, S.C., ruled Monday that the government can not hold Padilla indefinitely as an "enemy combatant," a designation President Bush gave him in 2002.
The government views Padilla as a militant who planned attacks on the United States, including with a "dirty bomb" radiological device.
Floyd wrote in his 23-page opinion that to rule in favor of the government "would not only offend the rule of law and violate this country's constitutional tradition," it would be a "betrayal of this nation's commitment to the separation of powers that safeguards our democratic values and individual liberties."
And just who is this "activist judge"? Heck if I know - there doesn't seem to be a lot of information available on him (at least not with 90 seconds of searching on Google). But we do at least know he was appointed by Bush - which is wonderfully ironic. I'd welcome a lot more guys like this on the bench.
Meanwhile, Gonzoles chimes in:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said today the U.S. has the right to hold suspects in the war on terrorism "for the duration of hostilities,'' a statement that struck two lawmakers as impractical.
The war "will not end in my lifetime,'' Representative Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican, said at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing in Washington. He said the Bush administration should press charges against Jose Padilla, an American who has been held without traditional legal rights as an "enemy combatant'' since June 2002.
I'd almost be willing to accept Gonzales' proposal if we could get an actual declaration of war from Congress. But we know that's not going to happen, and so I'd have to say that the idea is not just impractical, but quite awful.