Over the last few years the Bush Administration have had their troubles with Guantanamo Bay and their military tribunals. Now the US Supreme Court will finally take up the case of whether these military tribunals against Al Qaeda suspects are legal.
A federal judge ruled last fall that Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni citizen could not be tried by a military tribunal without violating the 1949 Geneva Convention. Unfortunately in July a federal appeals court panel, which included now Chief Justice John Roberts, voted that the president could legally go through with the tribunals despite the implications of the Geneva Convention.
The real question is whether or not these military tribunals are necessary, and why is the Bush Administration so adamant about using them? What's so wrong with using a civil federal court for these matters. The very fact that 500 law professors urged the Supreme Court to take this case should be sign enough that there is something seriously wrong with the way the government is handling the situation.
I just wish that the Supreme Court would rule unanimously against these tribunals so that the administration gets a punch in the face for it's policy regarding detainees. Chief Justice John Roberts has recused himself for this case, which means there is possibility of a 4-4 vote on this issue. This should be an interesting case to follow and could determine the future policy of how we handle POWs and other detainees.