Another Good Day for the Rule of Law

Via the New York Times:

In a stinging rejection of one of the Bush administration’s central assertions about the scope of executive authority to combat terrorism, a federal appeals court ordered the Pentagon to release a man being held as an enemy combatant.

“To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians, Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote, “even if the President calls them ‘enemy combatants,’ would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution — and the country.”

“We refuse to recognize a claim to power,” Judge Motz added, “that would so alter the constitutional foundations of our Republic.”

Rock. If the fellow in question really is a terrorist, let’s put him on trial, and then if he’s guilty, let’s lock him up for a nice long time. But this stuffing someone down a hole purely at the pleasure of the president crap is nonsense.

Don’t know about anyone else, but I’m liking the idea that the Dubya years are looking more like a cautionary abberation than a model of things to come. I’d still like some more reassurance of that, of course.