Happy Independence Day: Reflections from Andrew Sullivan

I hope that readers found my earlier article that celebrated the courage of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and underscored the pivotal importance of the Hamdan decision to be of some value. Along this same line, Andrew Sullivan posted a brief note this morning on The Daily Dish for his readers. Sullivan’s note is, in itself, a “4th of July” gift:

The De-Throning of King George

My reflections on the Hamdan decision in the Sunday Times of London are here. Money quote:

“America is not in essence a geographical entity. When it was founded, it occupied a fraction of the land it now does. Nor is it defined by an ethnic group or a royal line. Its core is essentially a piece of paper, a written constitution, a formal set of procedures designed, before everything else, to protect individual liberty. At the heart of that liberty is the right to a fair trial and the insistence that nobody — especially not the president — can take that away.”

Happy Independence Day. It came early this year.

And from Me to Sullivan: Sometimes You Are Just the Best!

U. S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens: An American Hero

Supreme Court Strikes Down President Bush’s Threats to American Civil Liberties

All freedom-loving Americans should salute the courage of 86-year-old Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the majority opinion in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that was announced on Thursday. The ruling boldly and irrecovably struck down the military tribunals Bush set up to try Guantanamo detainees. But of far more importance, according to Jack M. Balkin, The Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment and Director, The Information Society Project at Yale Law School, this decision “effectively undermines the Administration’s strongest claims about Presidential power.” Further, this Supreme Court ruling may well constitute the legal framework necessary to halt the more egregious of Bush’s civil liberties-infringing programs—like warrantless wiretapping and holding terrorism suspects without trial.

Not any longer! A lot of those legal opinions became inoperative as of 10 a.m. Thursday morning.

And without the cover of the now-discredited theory of sweeping unilateral executive power, the criminal law of the United States is again in control. Walter Dellinger, Professor of Law at Duke University , described this Supreme Court decision as, ” The most important decision on presidential power. Ever.” He went on to explain:

Today the court holds that common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions applies to the conflict against al-Qaida. As Justice Kennedy expressly notes in his (controlling) concurring opinion, Section 2441 of the U.S. Criminal Code defines a “war crime” as including any conduct “which constitutes a violation of common Article 3 of the international conventions signed at Geneva.” And the statute makes any “war crime”—when committed by any member of the U.S. Armed Forces, or against any member of the U.S. Armed Forces, or against a U.S. national—punishable by life imprisonment, or in certain cases, by death. Now that the fig leaf of untenable legal opinions has been stripped away, there will be great resistance by covered officials to complying with directives that may violate such a serious federal criminal statute.

Independence Day: Bush Declares Patriotic War on Man-Flag Marriages


Bush Declares Opposition to Marriages Between a Man and a Flag

In a recent article by Andy Borowitz in Truthdig, it was reported that, as a definitive act of Independence Day Patriotism, President George W. Bush has proposed a constitutional amendment banning marriages between a man and a flag. Many important political observers believe that The President’s amendment will become the critical issue, which will lead Republicans to a dramatic sweep of the 2006 midterm elections. According to the Borowitz report:

In a nationally televised address from the Oval Office, the president said that the proposed amendment was intended to protect two embattled American institutions: traditional marriage and the American flag.“We must define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and not between a man and a flag,” Mr. Bush said. “Additionally, just as we seek to protect flags from being burned, we must protect them from being married.”

The president’s proposal seemed intended to cause trouble among congressional Democrats, many of whom have no stated opinion on the issue of man-flag unions.

But 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry was quick out of the box in response to the president’s speech, telling reporters, “Before the end of the day, I intend to have at least three or four different positions on this issue.”

On the other side of the aisle, Mr. Bush’s proposed amendment received immediate support from Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who suggested expanding its scope to ban marriage between a man and any inanimate object.

“We should not only forbid marriage between a man and a flag, we should also forbid it between a man and an inflatable love-doll,” he said, adding quickly, “Not that I know about that sort of thing.”

So that all of you have a chance to see just what these Flag-Marrying characters really look like, pictured below are two men who are very highly suspected by the FBI, CIA and NIA of being Married to Flags at this very moment:


I, hereby pledge allegiance that I, personally, will never, never, ever marry a flag or any other inanimate object, including plastic inflatable love-dolls. Thank you, Mr. President, for standing firm for our American tradition of moral values!

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