In my previous post on Saturday, November 26th, I failed to report that the Bush Administration had in fact indicted Jose Padillia to avoid a showdown with the Supreme Court. Although not the least bit hesitant to steamroll Congress in their disrespect for the Constitution, President Bush's Justice Department are wary of the nation's highest court and fearful that a majority of justices may respect the law. Indeed, as the Washington Post noted in an article on November 23rd, last year while reviewing numerous cases pertaining to the war on terrorism retiring Justice Sandra O'Connor wrote,
Both the New York Times and The Washington Post report that Padilla's change in status is merely a shift in tactics and the Bush Administration remains very much in arbitrary control over detention policy.
"A state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens."
When Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter convenes hearings to consider Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court, most will focus on abortion. We can expect that abortion will be covered with great intensity by the media while the special interest groups for each side are ready to clash. There is far more at stake than abortion. It is imperative that true civil libertarians pressure the members of the Senate Judicary Committee to vigorously question and challenge Samuel Alito's views about the detention of U.S. citizens in a time of war. It is entirely possible that the Supreme Court will preside over a matter similar to Jose Padilla's in the coming years and Sandra Day O'Connor will no longer be there.