Back in Bush v. Gore (2000), Justice John P. Stephens wrote in his dissenting opinion:
It is confidence in the men and women who administer the judicial system that is the true backbone of the rule of law. Time will one day heal the wound to that confidence that will be inflicted by today’s decision. One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.
Some of that confidence (for me, anyway) was restored yesterday in the Supreme Court’s rulings on Guant�namo Bay, Cuba. I never thought the day would come when I would utter these words, but it’s damn nice to know that the government can’t haul me off to prision in Cuba in order to abolish my right of habeas corpus. Also, I found the joint opinion by Justices Stevens and Scalia (an unlikely pair) to be particularly choice. These justices said that the rest of the court did not go far enough in protecting the civil liberties of the American citizens. They say that in order to detain Mr. Hamdi without habeus corpus, the government should either prosecute him for treason or Congress should suspend habeus corpus. Strong words from Justice Scalia, with whom I seldom agree.