Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
Am I the only blogger in the country who doesn't think SCOTUS's Hamdan ruling is anything to get especially worked up about? It seems like everyone else I know is either expressing outrage and indignation or popping champagne corks. What am I missing?
No doubt, the decision was certainly a rebuke of the administration's detainee policies, but how much does it really change? With the application of Common Article 3 status to Hamdan and other detainees, it seems that military tribunals are no longer an option.
But (and correct me if I'm wrong) the Supreme Court does not convey Geneva Convention "prisoner of war" or "civilian" status to the detainees (they don't fit the treaty's definition.) The Court doesn't question the administration's authority to detain them until the cessation of hostilities. They still may be trialed by courts martial, or (and this is very important) not tried at all! Moreover, there is even wiggle room on the tribunals, contingent on congressional authorization.
The president's enemies will relish this nominal defeat, but beyond that it seems like much ado about not very much.
UPDATE: Well, I guess I'm not the only one.