Friday, March 5, 2010

The Rule of Law – Left Behind

After celebrating some very good LGBT rights news earlier in the week (marriage licenses became available to DC couples on March 3rd), we’re now facing some potentially dire news on the criminal justice and rule of law front.

A recent Washington Post article points out that the Obama administration may soon be going back on its historic (and right-minded!) decision to try the 9/11 plotters in a federal court.

From the article:

President Obama's advisers are nearing a recommendation that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, be prosecuted in a military tribunal, administration officials said, a step that would reverse Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s plan to try him in civilian court in New York City.

If Obama accepts the likely recommendation of his advisers, the White House may be able to secure from Congress the funding and legal authority it needs to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and replace it with a facility within the United States. The administration has failed to meet a self-imposed one-year deadline to close Guantanamo.”

While we strongly advocate for the closing of Guantanamo – we do not think that this is the way to do it. We applauded the administration for committing more strongly to the rule of law when it was announced that some detainees would be tried in civilian courts – and we strongly urge the president not to go back on this decision-making.

The national ACLU also has a few strong words on the subject.

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