Thursday, 18 December 2003

Much ado about due process

It’s been a busy day for wanna-be terrorists in the courts; as James Joyner and One Fine Jay note, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the release of alleged dirty bomber José Padilla, a decision both agree with, while the 9th Circuit’s decision that detainees at Guantanamo Bay deserve access to counsel and the normal judiciary, contradicting a decision of the D.C. Circuit, has met with a tepid reaction from Glenn Reynolds and outright disagreement from Professor Bainbridge.

Not being a lawyer—or playing one on TV—myself, my gut instinct is that both decisions are correct, and while there may be some (as yet unclear) value to holding the Guantanamo detainees, I don’t think that value is sufficient to justify the ongoing diplomatic fiasco attached to them—even if countries like Britain and Canada, whose citizens are among the detainees, would probably prefer that the U.S. deal with them at Gitmo rather than dealing with them themselves, even if they won’t say so publically.