Monday, June 28, 2004

P.S. to Previous Post

If I were commander-in-chief, I might say, in Jacksonian fashion: "The Supreme Court has made its decision, now let them enforce it."

But I would go further than that and remind the Court of what an earlier Court ruled when it held for the government's relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II (Justice Frankfurter in a concurring opinion):
The provisions of the Constitution which confer on the Congress and the President powers to enable this country to wage war are as much part of the Constitution as provisions looking to a nation at peace. And we have had recent occasion to quote approvingly the statement of former Chief Justice Hughes that the war power of the Government is "the power to wage war successfully."...Therefore, the validity of action under the war power must be judged wholly in the context of war. That action is not to be stigmatized as lawless because like action in times of peace would be lawless.
Justice Frankfurter was writing about American citizens being relocated, involuntarily, within the United States. Today's Court rulings are about enemy soldiers who were captured overseas in a war being waged legally by the United States.

I used the Frankfurter quotation in an earlier post, where I argued, among other things, that the suspension of civil liberties in the course of a legal war hasn't -- and needn't -- put us on the path to serfdom. War is war, and our enemies are the real threat to our civil liberties. Today's rulings give aid and comfort to our enemies.