Big Tony's Mojo and Uncle Tom's Dissent:
The Rude Pundit is not going to get all happy and dance a little jig of celebration just because the Supreme Court affirmed that, in fact, this is the United States of America, that we, in fact, have a constitution and rule of law, and that, most assuredly, the President is not a king. Sure, it's nice to have wrongs righted, but, ultimately, Sandra Day O'Connor's opinion in the Hamdi case, eloquently and, one imagines, more than a little angrily written, simply says that citizens have the right to be told why they've been "detained" and have the right to contest that in court. Let us sigh in relief at this point, because, really, and let's face it, the weaselly cocksuckers in the Bush administration will try to find a way to keep Hamdi's case from being heard. They may fail, but they will surely try. All in all, it's also a nice kick in the ass to the vile Ted Olson, the Solicitor General on his way out.

Getting much less attention is Big Tony Scalia's scathing dissent (and is Big Tony even anything less than scathing? It's as if he saves all his phlegm to spit at his clerks as they scramble to write his words), joined by Justice Stevens. Scalia actually believes that the majority does not go far enough in its opinion that Hamdi is entitled to contest his detention and have legal counsel. For once being the strict constructionist his allies claim he is, Scalia says, "Hamdi is entitled to a habeas decree requiring his release unless (1) criminal proceedings are promptly brought, or (2) Congress has suspended the writ of habeas corpus." Scalia sees the majority as eroding constitutional rights by giving too much credence to the Bush administration's argument that wartime provides the executive with the power to detain citizens without charge. Scalia sees this not as the right of the executive or judicial branches: "If civil rights are to be curtailed during wartime, it must be done openly and democratically, as the Constitution requires, rather than by silent erosion through an opinion of this Court." Damn, isn't it confusing when a rabid conservative actually acts like a conservative and not just rabid? Damn, don't you hate it when you find yourself agreeing with someone you ordinarily despise?

Better then to avert one's gaze from Big Tony and over to Uncle Tom. Once again, proving that no Negro is as loyal as a house Negro (see Condi, Colin, etc.), Clarence Thomas, in the lone vote against the majority opinion, does what so many slaves have done for time immemorial: he embraces the way of his master. His dissent is a frightening look at the abiding deference to power that is the hallmark of the servant beaten down to believe that he has no opinions of his own or, to put it simply, he is not worthy: "The plurality utterly fails to account for the Government's compelling interests and for our own institutional inability to weigh competing concerns correctly." As for the reasons behind the executive's decision to name Hamdi an "enemy combatant," Thomas opines, "We lack the capacity and responsibility to second-guess this determination." Massa's always right, as Thomas bows and scrapes, "Undeniably, Hamdi has been deprived of a serious interest, one actually protected by the Due Process Clause. Against this, however, is the Government's overriding interest in protecting the Nation."

Goddamn, maybe someday Uncle Thomas will be pulled over in some little town in Southwest Virginia for driving while black, and then let him understand once again what unfettered government power is like. Called the "youngest, cruelest justice" in the past, Thomas once again shows America that cruelty means placing the powerful above the people, just like the slave that used to inform massa when a rebellion was going to happen on the plantation.