Fantastic news! The Supreme Court’s ruled this morning that military tribunals are illegal. This is a huge victory that could have much wider implications, as the Court held that the Geneva Convention actually does apply to the conflict with Al Qaeda.
Marty Lederman on scotusblog.com has an interesting analysis: “This [ruling] almost certainly means that the CIA’s interrogation regime is unlawful, and indeed, that many techniques the administration has been using, such as waterboarding and hypothermia (and others) violate the War Crimes Act (because violations of Common Article 3 are deemed war crimes).”
The vote was 5-3. The dissenters were (surprise!) Alito, Scalia, and Thomas. According to the AP,
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a strongly worded dissent and took the unusual step of reading part of it from the bench Â something he had never done before in his 15 years. He said the court’s decision would “sorely hamper the president’s ability to confront and defeat a new and deadly enemy.”
The ruling can be found here (I warn you, it’s long). I haven’t had a chance to read through it, but I’m looking forward to it.
The ACLU press release, along with a copy of the amicus brief we filed in the case, can be found here.
All I can say is “Woo hoo!”