GUANTANAMO COURT DECISION -- (House of Representatives - June 20, 2008)
(Mr. PITTS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. PITTS. Madam Speaker, this week's Supreme Court decision regarding enemy terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay threatens the separation of powers by undermining the authority of the President as commander-in-chief and thwarting repeated efforts of Congress to address this issue. Taking enemy combatants from before military tribunals and putting them before civilian judges is a mistake.
Justice Scalia, who wrote a dissenting opinion to the 5-4 decision, said, ``America is at war with radical Islamists. The game of bait-and-switch that today's opinion plays upon the Nation's commander-in-chief will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.''
Chief Justice Roberts said, ``Today the Court strikes down as inadequate the most generous set of procedure protections ever afforded aliens detained by this country as enemy combatants.''
Madam Speaker, I believe history will judge the five Justices who supported this policy to be mistaken. Unfortunately, this most serious issue was stripped from the jurisdiction of America's elected officials, who are accountable to voters, and given to judges never elected and not accountable to the population at large.