Sunday, March 26, 2006

That settles that

In a tape obtained by SCOTUSblog, Justice Scalia Announces Opposition to Trials in Civil Courts for Alien Military Detainees:
in answer to one question from the audience…, Justice Scalia expresses incredulity at the notion that detainees captured "on the battlefield" should receive a trial in civil courts. It is, he says, a "crazy idea." To a follow-up question about the Geneva Conventions and other human rights treaties, he responds with evident disdain: "What do they mean? They mean almost anything." The questioner then refers again to a hypothetical Guantanamo detainee, at which point Justice Scalia interjects: "If he was captured by my army on a battlefield, that is where he belongs. I had a son on that battlefield and they were shooting at my son. And I am not about to give this man who was captured in a war a full jury trial. I mean it's crazy."

This coming Tuesday, the Court will hear arguments in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, a case in which the questions include, among other things, whether a detainee held at Guantanamo can be tried for an alleged violation of war in the Pentagon's military tribunal instead of in a civilian court or by court-martial, and whether and to what extent the Geneva Conventions protect Guantanamo detainees.
I know Scalia doesn't like looking to other nations for guidance. I understand his argument and disagree.

Does he really want to go on record against Article 6: "all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby."

Scalia has recused himself in other situations when he's obviously prejudged the case, and Chief Justice Roberts heard the Hamdan case as an appellate court judge, so he recused himself already.