LA Times Tacitly Admits Boumediene Wrong?

June 24th, 2008 1:41 PM

Remember the Boumediene decisions? The one where the Supreme Court ignored Congress' orders to strip them of jurisdiction? One of the major issues in this case was the fact that the Court trampled all over Congress' ability to determine the limits of judicial oversight. And virtually no mainstream 'news' organ picked up on that fact- nstead they universally trumpeted how the eeevil Bush Adminstraion had been forced to observe the law'. The LA Times, for example, wrote on their front page,

The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected for the third time President Bush's policy of holding foreign prisoners under exclusive control of the military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ruling that the men have a right to seek their freedom before a federal judge. The justices said the Constitution from the beginning enshrined the "privilege of habeas corpus" -- or the right to go before a judge -- as one of the safeguards of liberty. And that right extends even to foreigners captured in the war on terrorism, the high court said, particularly when they have been held for as long as six years without charges.

. The article admits that Congress stripped jurisdiction from the judiciary in 2006, writing,

After that setback, the administration went to Congress, still under GOP control, and won a law authorizing trials through military commissions. The law also stripped all the foreign "enemy combatants" of their right to go to court via a writ of habeas corpus.

but clearly agreeing with the idea that foreign, unlawful combatants have more rights than lawful prisoners-of-war.


However, the Los Angeles Times today provided a simple clarifier- in the case of the border fence authorized by Congress three years ago. The pertinent language is found approximately halfway through the article, where the Times writes,

Three years ago, Congress gave Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff an unusual power to "waive all legal requirements" that could stand in the way of building the fence.


These requirements included the nation's environmental protection laws. The same congressional action took away the authority of judges to review Chertoff's decisions.

"The same congressional action took away the authority of judges to review Chertoff's decisions." Really? So then is the LA Times admitting Congress DOES have the Constitutional authority to limit judicial influence. Why then did the Court ignore Congress' instructions in Boumediene, and why didn't the LA Times excoriate the judges for this blatant overstepping of their authority? If Congress does indeed have the Constitutional authority (as admitted in this LA Times story), then how can the Court ignore that instruction? Isn't that breaking the Constitution themselves?


As a refresher, here is what the United States Constitution itself has to say about the jurisdiction of the judiciary:

In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

This seems pretty explicit- the Court's jurisdiction can be restricted by Congress. And the LA Times has tacitly admitted precisely this in their story on the Court's refusal of the environmental challenges to the border fence. Yet the Press, again in the person of th LA Times, is seemingly agreeable with the Court choosing when it wishes to actually be bound by the Constitution.


I am amazed at how the the LA Times can manage to completely miss the fact that the Court has once again rolled all over the Constitution and infringed on the prerogatives of another branch. I guess that in the realm of the media and the liberals on the Court, all if fair if it embarrasses the Bush Administration, never mind the disastrous results for the nation as a whole and one more judicial over-reach that we will be paying for for years to come. Cross-posted on StoneHeads.