Daily Revolt

June 12, 2007

Federal Court Rules Bush Detention Practice Unconstitutional

Seven Afghan Police Killed in Gunfight with US Troops
Seven policemen were killed in a gun battle with US soldiers after troops attacked their post in eastern Afghanistan following a "misunderstanding," government officials said Tuesday.

[...]"They attacked us from ground and air," said provincial police official Nasir Ahmad Safi, identifying the soldiers as Americans.

"They killed seven police brutally," he said, alleging the bodies of the dead each had around 20 bullet wounds. "Unless the criminals are prosecuted, we will not bury the bodies in a protest."

Bush Spared new Blow over Gonzales
Senate Republicans Monday blocked a Democratic vote of "no confidence" in besieged US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, sparing President George W. Bush another political hammer blow.

[...]"We have taken another step forward," said senior Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, who pointed out that few Republicans rose to support Gonzales, one of Bush's longest standing political confidants.

Court Rules in Favor of Enemy Combatant
A divided panel from a conservative federal appeals court harshly rebuked the Bush administration's anti-terrorism strategy Monday, ruling that U.S. residents cannot be locked up indefinitely as "enemy combatants" without being charged.

[...]"Put simply, the Constitution does not allow the President to order the military to seize civilians residing within the United States and then detain them indefinitely without criminal process, and this is so even if he calls them 'enemy combatants,'" the court said.

Such detention "would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution — and the country," Judge Diana G. Motz wrote in the majority opinion, which was joined by Judge Roger Gregory. Judge Henry E. Hudson, a federal judge in Richmond, dissented.

[...]Last August, a federal judge in Detroit said the government's domestic spying program violated constitutional rights to free speech and privacy, and the constitutional separation of powers. Five months later, the Bush administration announced it would allow judicial review of the spying program run by the National Security Agency

A year ago, the Supreme Court threw out Bush's system of military trials for detainees at Guantanamo Bay, saying he had exceeded his authority and was in violation of international treaties. The Republican-led Congress then pushed through legislation authorizing war-crime trials for the detainees and denying them access to civilian courts.

Bush Immigration Bill Push Tests Clout
President Bush is putting his influence within his own party to the test Tuesday as he pleads personally with skeptical Senate Republicans to resurrect his immigration bill.

Despite his confident tone Monday about the measure's fate, Bush is facing a hostile audience that has shown little appetite for following his lead on the contentious issue.

Congress Turns to Energy, and Lobbyists Arrive
With gasoline prices hovering near all-time highs, the Senate on Monday began debating a sprawling energy bill that has already kicked off an epic lobbying war by huge industries, some of them in conflict with one another: car companies, oil companies, electric utilities, coal producers and corn farmers, to name a few.

[...]“This is going to be harder than immigration,” said John B. Breaux, a former Democratic senator from Louisiana who is representing Cerberus Capital Management, the private equity firm that recently took control of the Chrysler Corporation. “This is going to be the mother of all bills. By that I mean, any one portion of it is important enough to affect completion of the whole bill.”

Immigration Judges Often Picked Based On GOP Ties
The Bush administration increasingly emphasized partisan political ties over expertise in recent years in selecting the judges who decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, despite laws that preclude such considerations, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.

At least one-third of the immigration judges appointed by the Justice Department since 2004 have had Republican connections or have been administration insiders, and half lacked experience in immigration law, Justice Department, immigration court and other records show.

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