'There Is No Law Here'

A funny thing happened on the way to monarchy: a rare Supreme Court take-back

However, the rest of the Military Commissions Act's assaults on what used to be fundamental American laws and values will not be ended by whatever the Supreme Court does in October. So, if this Congress or its successor doesn't take down the MCA, we will remain at the brink of what Charlie Savage predicts will happen if the Roberts court gets another case directly challenging the MCA's most dangerous other parts— and lets them stand.

If that happens, including a failure of the court to restore habeas corpus in October, Savage warns that the Bush-Cheney formula of unlimited "wartime" powers could, for some time to come, "be completely safe from any judicial review.

"And in the future, other presidential legal teams, charged [by a Democratic or Republican president] with writing secret Office of Legal Counsel memos [like the 2002 'torture' approvals], can similarly go down radical paths with the impunity that comes with having no fear of judicial review."

Terrorism will be with us for decades—and more. I doubt if any of the Fourth of July speakers around the country referred to the prospect of losing who we are under a future "imperial presidency" that Bush, Cheney, and the indifference of the majority have set into motion.

If the Supreme Court falters on habeas corpus and the MCA remains, whom do you want next in the Oval Office—especially if there's another 9/11? Surely not Giuliani. But even if that appalling prospect doesn't come to pass, who among the others would rescue the Constitution?

See you in three weeks, after some time off.

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