So actual big-deal news happened late-ish yesterday. An Obama-appointed district federal judge issued an injunction blocking at least some and maybe all of a specific provision of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. (The year is important because there are several different bills which were passed called the NDAA.)
The specific provision this stone-cold pimp judge blocked is about the rules surrounding detention: civilians, access to courts, indefinite length, all that shit. The injunction stops implementation of the provision because, the judge ruled, the practices violate aspects of the first and fifth amendment. So this stone-cold pimp judge just busted a nut on one of the lynchpins of the legal apparatus of the War on Terror, and one that is most likely to be extended and abused in the future. Who knows how it’ll turn out (nb this means it’ll turn out poorly) but it’s encouraging at least that district judges appointed by Obama are willing to do this.
I’m not even going to try to summarize the legal ins and outs this soon after the story broke (it’s not even on CNN yet, not even on the ticker-or-whatever-fuck thing, keep fucking that chicken CNN) but I’ve got a couple of links that should give a good base for understanding analysis in the near future.
Glenn Greenwald doesn’t preen as much as usual, which is nice aesthetically
Lawfare Blog has a few posts up and with more to come exploring the overall issues and the specific legal mechanisms the Judge invoked which make thinking through both the implications and the actual ruling itself a bit of a titch.
A good resource in general for quick-but-reasoned legal analysis is to search the Law Professor Blogs for what you’re interested in. The blog aggregator doesn’t have stuff on this yet, but it will.
If you want to check out a conservative legal take on the issue which won’t be just eye-meltingly stupid, the Volokh Conspiracy will probably have a couple posts which meet at least one of those criteria soon.
But, of course, what I really wanted to talk about was what the Centrist Response is likely to be.
Out of the hundreds of thousands of loyal readers of this hallowed blog, how many will be able to predict something an established centrist will say?
If you email in a prediction along those lines and it comes true, I will tweet a lolCentrist of your choice to the offending person depicted therein. With an option for text along the lines of “Hey Airmiles THIS IS WHAT JOHN SMITH THINKS OF YA”
But the prediction has to be at least as specific as these:
A newspaper pundit will claim the injunction will harm national security in unpredictable ways
A TV/radio personality who is given an open-ended question to offer substantive analysis (an NPR style interview with people like Matt Miller, Mark Shields, Brooksy etc) will spend 90+% of their time describing the political impact of this on the 2012 elections, and little to no time on the legal, moral, etc issues and implications
Someone somewhere will claim Obama wanted this outcome and appointed the pimp judge with an eye toward this happening. The constraint here is the stature of the person who does it because obviously Erik Erikson is writing his first of many posts along these lines in his sleep as I write. So the constraint is someone, let’s say, with the juice equivalent to a regular opinion column on a top five newspaper and who doesn’t reflexively write every column cheering the electoral prospects of the Republican party. So c’mon Kathleen Parker, don’t let me down.
I’m betting all three of these will happen within 72 hours. That’ll be the timeframe for y’all, too. In case multiple people guess right, the first one who submitted their guess will win. All of this excessive legal parsing to try and engineer an outcome that will inevitably turn to shit if it arises is, I think, appropriate to the topic.