Or, you know, more legalistically:
SCOTUSblog: Hamdan Summary — And HUGE News
[…] the Court held that Congress had, by statute, required that the commissions comply with the laws of war — and held further that these commissions do not (for various reasons).
I’ve been in such a funk, depressed by the news at every turn. This makes me feel a little better.
Update from the There May Be a God After All department:
Think Progress Â» Supreme Court Decision on Gitmo Undermines Bush’s Legal Case For Warrantless Wiretapping
The impact of today’s Supreme Court decision on military commissions goes well beyond Guantanamo. The Supreme Court has ruled that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force — issued by Congress in the days after 9/11 — is not a blank check for the administration.
Update 2: Glenn Greenwald explains the decicion in more accessible language, but his post is a downer, because he basically articulates my first reaction: What’s to make the Cheney administration actually follow this ruling when they don’t follow laws they don’t like, and don’t care who objects.
But his summary is upbeat:
Nonetheless, opponents of monarchical power should celebrate this decision. It has been some time since real limits were placed on the Bush administration in the area of national security. The rejection of the President’s claims to unlimited authority with regard to how Al Qaeda prisoners are treated is extraordinary and encouraging by any measure. The decision is an important step towards re-establishing the principle that there are three co-equal branches of government and that the threat of terrorism does not justify radical departures from the principles of government on which our country was founded. [Emphasis mine]
For me, it all comes back to the media (and the tide of public opinion it can influence), and whether they will stand up on this one, finally. Or whether Spector will find some balls. Don’t hold your breath on either.
Update 3: Happpy meter swings down with Digby. Back to my original news gloom.
Update 4: Glenn responds to Digby (and others) with sunshine and light, and I’m calling it for GG, who’s been studying and writing exclusively on Presidential powers for a while now. And he is one lawyer I trust.
Final Update: Christy at Firedoglake gleans the web for reactions, celebrations, warnings so I don’t have to.