Friday, December 19, 2003

Coming to their senses

A federal appeals court has ruled that Jose Padilla - the "dirty bomb" suspect - cannot be held in military custody as an "enemy combatant" by Presidential decree.

Padilla has been held in solitary confinement in a military brig for over a year, denied access to his lawyer, and has not yet been charged with any crime. The court has ordered that he be released, or transferred to civillian custody and charged. While there is likely to be an appeal to the Supreme Court, this is an important ruling, possibly marking a return to sanity in the US. The Bush administration has been put on notice - if they ignore the constitution, the courts will uphold it, rather than look the other way.

Now, if only there'd be a similar ruling about Guantanamo...