Hit & Run

Supremes on Detainees

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In a ruling today:

The Supreme Court ruled narrowly Monday that Congress gave President Bush the power to hold an American citizen without charges or trial, but said the detainee can challenge his treatment in court.

The 6-3 ruling sided with the administration on an important legal point raised in the war on terrorism. At the same time, it left unanswered other hard questions raised by the case of Yaser Esam Hamdi, who has been detained more than two years and who was only recently allowed to see a lawyer.

The administration had fought any suggestion that Hamdi or another U.S.-born terrorism suspect could go to court, saying that such a legal fight posed a threat to the president's power to wage war as he sees fit.

Jacob Sullum looked at the Hamdi case here.

Update: The decision is here.