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The ITT List

Tuesday, Feb 20, 2007, 7:37 am

DC Appellate Court Rules Constitution Doesn’t Apply to US Gov’t Conduct Offshore

By Brian Zick

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According to the opinion of two of the three appeals court judges, the Constitution does not provide the legal foundation for the operations of the United States government; it is merely a document setting forth geographic boundaries.

Hope Yen for AP reports:
WASHINGTON - Guantanamo Bay detainees may not challenge their detention in U.S. courts, a federal appeals court said Tuesday in a ruling upholding a key provision of a law at the center of President Bush's anti-terrorism plan.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 that civilian courts no longer have the authority to consider whether the military is illegally holding foreigners.

Barring detainees from the U.S. court system was a key provision in the Military Commissions Act, which Bush pushed through Congress last year to set up a system to prosecute terrorism suspects.

Attorneys for the detainees immediately said they would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, which last year struck down the Bush administration's original plan for trying detainees before military commissions.

"We're disappointed," said Shayana Kadidal of the Center for Constitutional Rights. "The bottom line is that according to two of the federal judges, the president can do whatever he wants without any legal limitations as long as he does it offshore."
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