Supreme Irony

The flurry of activity at the close of the just-ended term of the United States Supreme Court just leads one to say, regardless of their ideology, “Wow!” Certainly, the overall trend is that, without the cover of the center-right Sandra Day O’Connor behind which Justice Anthony Kennedy could pretend that he too was also center-right, rather than extreme-hard-right-to-the-point-of-near-psychotic, like the Dubya appointees John “Burn-Witch-Burn” Roberts and Scam Alito, the Reagan-appointed Kennedy’s true relatively right-wing leanings become more visible, and hence, the Court as a whole has shifted to the right on issues from upholding a Congressional ban on a second-term abortion procedure, in limiting school desegregation plans and striking down a law banning big-money political advertising. OTOH… the Court upheld the EPA’s ability to regulate global warming. And, most recently, in a stunning structural move…
The Court, by a 5-4 vote, with Kennedy on the side of the angels, decided that it will hear, after all, challenges to the Military Commissions Act brought by GTMO detainees in the Boumediene and Al-Odah cases.
While one cynical colleague of mine suggested that the Court valued the rights of foreign terrorists over domestic Black school children… and I tend to think that Justice Kennedy wants to party like its 1953… at least he doesn’t want to party like it’s 1214, the year before the Magna Charta enshrined habeas corpus in English law… I am very encouraged by this decision to take review. As Gaillard Hunt just told us, only the Supreme Court seems to be showing courage in this area. And while there are, at least, private and local and state level remedies available to combat racial discrimination, and other than the banned procedure, abortion is still available, and so forth… on habeas corpus… only the government can protect us arbitrarily from the abuse of power by… the government.
Despite over 6 months in office, a feckless Democratic majority has not passed a restoration of habeas corpus in either house of Congress. I mean, what are we supposed to say to that? Fear of being called “soft-on-terrorism” justifies permitting us to be a de jure (if not quite yet de facto) dictatorship?
I suppose in an “only Nixon could go to China” thing (largely because Nixon didn’t have to face being called a Red by… Nixon… thanks to digby for that)… only a Reagan appointed Justice can rein in Reagan’s out-of-control ideological heir. If that’s what it takes… so be it. While Justice Kennedy does many things that many people not only don’t like but find incredibly offensive… he may yet prove to be the ultimate savior of our Constitutional republic.