Georgetown law professor Neal Katyal, lead attorney for Salim Hamdan, gave the following remarks during a panel discussion, held earlier today, on the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld Supreme Court decision:
One final note.... And that just has to do with... the lesson of the decision more generally.... I had hoped that when we won that the administration would just take a deep breath and think to themselves, 'well that this is actually something great about America.'Please note, the above is not an official transcript. For video of the event, please click here [real audio].
Presidents make mistakes.... I don't think that this is a rebuke to the Bush administration per se, I think the Founders anticipated that presidents are going to push their power. But, what's great about America, it seems to me, is that we have a court system... that checks the President and allows this guy -- a fourth-grade educated Yemini accused of conspiring with one of the worst individuals on the planet, Osama bin Laden -- ... sue the... world's highest, most powerful official, the President of the United States, and says 'you're doing something illegal to me, you're violating your own basic laws.'
What other nation on earth allows people to do that? It's a great thing about America. We should be celebrating it, I think, and I think the administration should celebrate it as well because it says that we're different. And, if we're going to win the war on terror, we are going to win it through our soft power, we're going to win it through saying to the world that we actually have a better model than you because in your countries you settle these things through force and fiat, and here we settle them through law, we settle them through law.
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