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The Supremes tinker with the status quo. Detainees are entitled to a ” meaningful hearing ” to dispute their status as ” enemy combatant ” before a ” neutral ” venue but their detention without charge is Constitutionally authorized by the U.S. Congress during a state of war.

This would seem to overturn Johnson v.Eisentrager but as far as I have read ( I am not finished yet ) O’Conner hasn’t made such a claim ( Hamdi is of course a U.S. citizen but most Guantanamo detainees are not ). My guess is that the Bush administration lost a vote or two because of Abu Ghraib ( Justices take ill to being deceived or misinformed during oral arguments) because the precedents – Ex Parte Quirin, Johnson v. Eisentrager- had been more on their side than that of Hamdi and Padilla. The costs of stupidity and cruelty can be high.

Eugene Volokh’s preliminary comments here. Mithras has a good post up here. Brad DeLong’s is short and references Lincoln.

UPDATE: Arthur Silber’s post here.

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