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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

McCain's soulless posturing on Guantanamo

George Will takes on McCain's problematic posturing on the recent Supreme Court decision.
The day after the Supreme Court ruled that detainees imprisoned at Guantanamo are entitled to seek habeas corpus hearings, John McCain called it "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country." Well.

Does it rank with Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857), which concocted a constitutional right, unmentioned in the document, to own slaves and held that black people have no rights that white people are bound to respect? With Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which affirmed the constitutionality of legally enforced racial segregation? With Korematsu v. United States (1944), which affirmed the wartime right to sweep American citizens of Japanese ancestry into concentration camps?

Did McCain's extravagant condemnation of the court's habeas ruling result from his reading the 126 pages of opinions and dissents? More likely, some clever ignoramus convinced him that this decision could make the Supreme Court -- meaning, which candidate would select the best judicial nominees -- a campaign issue.

Further evidence that the "culture war" is about facts and not so much about values (schneier.com). This breaks down (of course) because it ends up being about values related to facts (usually implicit, rarely do people explicitly deny the value of scientific method, for instance).

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