Ages of the majority:
Ages of the minority:
Whoever is elected in November will probably have the chance to appoint at least one justice in the next presidential term. The court’s two most liberal justices are its oldest: John Paul Stevens turned 88 last month, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 75.
McCain promised that, if elected, he would follow President Bush’s model in choosing Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.
That could establish a large conservative majority on the court for years. With conservatives in full control, the court would probably overturn Roe vs. Wade and the national right to have an abortion. The justices also could give religion a greater role in government and the schools, and block the move toward same-sex marriage.
If elected, Obama would be hard-pressed to create a truly liberal court. But by replacing the aging liberal justices with liberals, he could preserve abortion rights and maintain a strict separation of church and state.
- The 40 to 60 people who have already been determined not to be enemy combatants will now have court assistance in finding a way and a place to be released. One of the key issues for these men is that they often come from countries like Syria where, if they were to return, they would be tortured. A number of them have petitioned to be released to third countries, in some cases where they have family. DOD has refused to consider this up until now. This ruling gives courts the ability to provide for relief to those being held even after they were determined not to be enemy combatants.
- There are roughly 260 people at Gitmo who have not received a Combat Status Review. Over a hundred have already petitioned for Habeas, and a number of those have been stayed awaiting this ruling. Some of those stays require the petitioners to restart their petition within 10 days of the ruling, so you’re going to see them move into a Habeas process within the next two weeks.
- Michael Ratner, the head of CCR, stated that he believes in many of these cases, the government will be unable to prove it has reason to detain these people–either because the evidence is tainted or because there is no evidence. So the government may be forced to release many of these men as well.
- It’s unclear where and how these Habeas petitions will be heard–so it’s an open question whether detainees will be able to come to DC to present their case.
- Carol Rosenberg, my favorite journalist covering the show trials, asked if the government will rush to charge detainees under the Military Commissions Act. Gutierrez responded that they’re really limited by whom they can charge; she put the number at around 60-80 people who they have enough evidence to charge.
More on Boumediene from skdadl @ pogge, SCOTUSBlog (round up here), Hilzoy, David Barron and Marty Lederman, who notes that there were two questions that the court did not answer, but, as Lederman goes on to explain, did provide hints as to where it was leaning:
1) Would habeas rights extend to alien detainees held in foreign locations other than Guantanamo (such as Bagram)?
2) What is the substantive standard for who may be indefinitely detained?