Sen. Trent Lott blasts SCOTUS opinion then admits he hasn’t read it.

Senator Trent Lott gives us a perfect example on the difference between an opinion and an informed opinion during an interview yesterday on Fox news:

CAVUTO: President Bush says he will ask congress to keep them going. But it does make you wonder, are some enemies laughing at us? A concern by Republican senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, who joins us now. Senator, what do you think?

LOTT: I think some people are probably laughing at us. This is ridiculous and outrageous. Now in legal speak, let me say, I have not read the entire opinion, nor the dissents. But preliminarily my opinion is they probably didn’t even have jurisdiction. They shouldn’t have ruled the way they did. This is not a bunch of pussycats we’re talking about here. These are people that have made it clear in many instances that they would kill Americans if they got out. This is Osama bin Laden’s driver. And this is one other example of why the American people have lost faith in so much of our federal judiciary. This is a very bad decision in my opinion.

It must really suck when you’ve got a Conservative leaning Supreme Court for the first time in a long time and yet your administration still gets bitch-slapped in such a stunning manner. Some of the analysis I’ve read of the Court’s decision about Bush’s Military Tribunals suggest that it could have implications on other administration programs such as domestic wiretapping without a warrant. Maybe we’ll get lucky and this new Court won’t be as bad as so many of us feared.

5 thoughts on “Sen. Trent Lott blasts SCOTUS opinion then admits he hasn’t read it.

  1. Sen. Lott gives a very good object lesson in why we have judges.  His second-guessing of the ruling is not based on the law, but on the results (“People are laughing at us!  These are bad people!”).  It’s rather alarming that he has a J.D. from U. Miss.

    Never mind that the point of even the tribunals is, ostensibly, to actually *judge* whether each detainee is, in fact, a “bad person” in some legal sense—ruling that the process the Administration has chosen is, in fact, illegal, is, in Sen. Lott’s view, a “bad decision” because, he presumes, they are all guilty (which begs the question of why we need tribunals in the first place).

    The only bit of legal reasoning Sen. Lott provides provides—after noting that he hasn’t fully read the decisions (or even the dissents) is that SCOTUS “probably didn’t even have jurisdiction.”  Thank you for that considered legal judgment, Senator.

    As to the court itself—it’s been said by many before, but political (and social) conservativsm <> judicial conservatism.  There’s plenty to criticize, actually or potentially, from the current court make-up, but the idea that the present court (even with two Bush appointees) is going to be some sort of echo chamber for, oh, Trent Lott or Jerry Falwell or something, is probably not something we have to worry about.

  2. I for one am glad that the tribunals are ruled illegal.  I heard a story on NPR about the Gitmo detainees and the tribunals.  It was horrible!  The judge in the tribunals is of course a military ranking officer, and each defendant or detainee or terrorist is assumed guilty with classified evidence.  One defense attorney asked the judge, “For what is the defendant accused?”  Judge: “That is classified information, but he was seen at a restaurant frequented by Al Qaeda.”  Attorney: “When, what time, and what restaurant?”  Judge: “That is classified information.”  Attorney: “Who stated he was seen there?”  Judge: “That is classified information.”

    How the hell does one defend themselves in this case.  The story went on to say that 80% of the detainees were captured in Pakistan (not Afghanistan) on a program our government set up where informants of the where-abouts of supposed Al Qaeda members or people who supposedly came in contact with Al Qaeda could get paid.  Starting out amount was reported as $8000 US up to I believe it was $24000 US.  Even the 8000 is a lot to a poor person living in Pakistan.  But as Bush states, “These are terrorists ok!  These are bad people that if, (stumbles) if given the (stumbles) opportunity would harm innocent Americans!  And and will stop at nothing to destroy our way of life!

    ** sorry about the poor English, I hope it was an accurate impersonation.

  3. Webs: I for one am glad that the tribunals are ruled illegal.

    That makes two of us. I practically danced a jig when I heard the outcome of this case.

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