And Elsewhere on Capitol Hill

Slate's blog on legal issues.
June 17 2008 4:09 PM

And Elsewhere on Capitol Hill

For what it's worth, Bill Kristol was on Fox News Sunday claiming that "very soon," Sens. McCain and Graham would introduce national security court legislation in the wake of Boumediene . Kristol, of course, may be trying to create facts on the ground. All the same, Think Progress has a partial transcript and video . Here's the key passage.

KRISTOL: [Habeas for detainees] is totally uncharted waters. It's utterly unmanageable. And I think what it means is Congress has to step in now and specify, OK, if the court's going to make us do this, we need to set up a system of a national security court that can handle these trials.  And this has been proposed by Andrew McCarthy, the former federal prosecutor who tried the blind sheik in New York and has a very good book out on the problems of trying to do this through the federal legal system. ...

Senator Lindsey Graham is working on this.  And I think you will see Senator Graham, accompanied by Senator McCain, come to the floor of the Senate very soon, like next week, and say, We cannot let chaos obtain here. We can't let 200 different federal district judges on their own whim call this CIA agent here, say, 'I don't believe this soldier here who said this guy was doing this,' you have to release someone,' or, 'Let's build up—let's compromise sources and methods with a bunch of trials. I mean, it's ridiculous.

So Congress has to act. Senator Graham and Senator McCain are going to insist on action. It will be interesting to see what Senator Obama's response is if the serious legislative proposal is introduced to set up a way of doing this consistent with the Supreme Court decision.


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