George Will: Not a fool or a knave

George Will defends the Supreme Court’s decision in the Boumediene case. He also mocks John McCain for asserting the decision to be one of the Supreme Court’s worst. Will disagrees, citing Dred Scott, Plesssy, and Korematsu (the internment case, with respect to which Will refers to “concentration camps”). Will omits Roe v. Wade from the list, but Boumediene is similar in quality to Roe. It is an act of usurpation and an exercise of raw judicial power that conflicts with constitutional tradition and history as well as the Court’s own precedent.

Will assures us that that the five justices who joined in the Boumediene decision are not fools or knaves. Roe enlisted seven justices in the Court’s majority opinion. The biblical precept that you shall know them by their fruit, however, applies to Supreme Court justices as much as it does ordinary mortals. By that standard, the five-member majority may not be evil or stupid, but it has committed an act of judicial imperialism with incalculable consequences for the conduct of the war in which are engaged.

Will does not even attempt to square Boumediene with the structure of the Constitution or with relevant Supreme Court precedent. He quotes Barack Obama’s derogation of the arrangements under which captives have been held at Guantanamo. He hypothesizes that some “clever ignoramus” persusaded McCain that he could make the Supreme Court a campaign issue. A “clever ignoramus” is one step up from a fool or a knave, but why is Will so sure that the putative McCain staffer is less learned than Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

Rich Lowry chides McCain for first issuing a lukewarm statement on Boumediene followed by a harsh statement on it. Now, he observes, the statement seems to have disappeared from McCain’s site, and the campaign is not doing anything to drive the issue. Shouldn’t McCain, he asks, note that Obama wants to give al Qaeda more rights than German POW’s during World War II? Apparently not if he wants to secure the approval of George Will.

UPDATE: Also finding Will’s column deficient are Mark Levin and Ed Whelan.

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