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December 18, 2003

PROFESSOR BAINBRIDGE isn't impressed with the Ninth Circuit's opinion on Guantanamo prisoners.

Here's a link to the 79-page Reinhardt opinion, which I have not read. Here, via Howard Bashman, is a link to a news story on the decision, which contains this unpromising bit:

The San Francisco appeals court, ruling Thursday on a petition from a relative of a Libyan the U.S. military captured in Afghanistan, said the Bush administration's indefinite detention of the men runs contrary to American ideals.

"Even in times of national emergency - indeed, particularly in such times - it is the obligation of the Judicial Branch to ensure the preservation of our constitutional values and to prevent the Executive Branch from running roughshod over the rights of citizens and aliens alike," Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote for the majority.

I don't necessarily disagree with the holding -- I think the government has been slippery with regard to jurisdictional issues here -- but Reinhardt, is, to put it bluntly, a gasbag whose posturing hurts his cause far more than it helps it, and this certainly suggests that the opinion will be in line with his past history.