David Cole, legal affairs correspondent for The Nation and a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, is the author, most recently, of Engines of Liberty: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law (April 2016).
The Bush Administration believes it can ignore the rule of law--in pursuit of torture, Pentagon surveillance of antiwar groups and now, domestic spying. We must continue to insist that in a democracy, the rule of law cannot be ignored.
If the US is to prevail in the war on terror, we must do it by
distinguishing ourselves from the enemy. Torture and degrading
treatment are as morally evil as terrorism, because they brutally
disregard the value of human life.
Recent rulings upholding the right of the executive branch to jail and try terror suspects in military tribunals raise questions about whether the judiciary can keep presidential powers in check. Will a realigned Supreme Court give Bush a
blank check to rise above the law?