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US Senate to hold hearings on 'war on terror' military trials.

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posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 08:45 AM

The US Senate will begin consulting legal experts in its bid to change US law to allow foreign-born terrorist suspects to be tried by US military tribunals, in defiance of the Supreme Court.

Lawmakers are writing the new law in response to the high court's ruling last month blocking President George W Bush's administration from prosecuting dozens of "war on terror" inmates held at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

The status of the foreign detainees, some of whom have been imprisoned without charge for nearly five years, rocketed to the top of the agenda for Congress and the White House after the US high court spurned US efforts to use ad hoc military commissions to try the terror suspects...continues

Being unfamiliar with the finer points of US politics and law in general, could someone please tell me how the Senate stacks up against the Supreme Court in terms of power.


edit: sp

[edit on 11-7-2006 by sanctum]

posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 09:42 AM
The Court overrides the Senate. When the Court makes a decision, it is considered an interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land and cannot be set aside by an act of Congress.

What the Senate (together with the House or Representatives -- the Senate cannot act alone except in ratifying treaties or presidential appointments) can do, is to try to find a way around the decision. Whether it can do this depends on how the decision was worded. I haven't read it. If the Court ruled that military courts for civilians are out, period, then the Senate cannot do anything, but if the Court ruled that this particular application of military courts was out for reasons A, B, C, then the Senate might try to find a way to allow military courts that doesn't present the same problems.

My guess is, there ain't no way, period. Well, no way short of amending the Constitution, anyway. The Constitution entitles every person accused of a crime to a fair and impartial trial conducted by a jury of his/her peers in the location where the crime was committed, to representation by a lawyer, etc. Military courts do not dispense criminal justice. They try violations of military code, not law. Sometimes the violations would also be civilian crimes, but nonetheless a person convicted in a military court doesn't get a criminal record as a result. A person who enlists or receives a commission in the military agrees to abide by military code and to be judged by military courts. A civilian agrees to no such thing.

posted on Jul, 25 2006 @ 04:43 PM
Well said, two steps forward.

Basically, the Supreme court's ruling is usually considered the final say. Why do you think the 2000 election was sent their way?

Congress is bound to obey laws just like everyone else, and they cant overturn a supreme court ruling. Congress really only has the power to legislate and balance the president's power. The supreme court keeps the balance.

Congress is gonna have to basically undo the constitution if they want to get around this. Or ignore it, which certainly would NOT be in their best interests at all.

posted on Jul, 25 2006 @ 10:17 PM
The most interesting aspect of this is that the US government (BushCo.) position on this is coming under the most severe criticism from military lawyers. Quite telling. Especially considering those who push the Bush view never served a day of their life in the military.

posted on Jul, 25 2006 @ 10:21 PM
The fact that these military lawyers are standing up to the Bush administration gives me a great sense of relief and pride. When I served, I always figured military justice would be a lot more unfair than the civilian justice system. Its good to see they're fighting the good fight.
(Standing up for basic civil rights)

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