The Hamdan decision, about the legal validity of military commissions at Guantanamo, will be handed down by the Supreme Court this morning. I’ll be on my way to work when that happens, so my commentary will have to wait until the evening, at the earliest. The perils of being a blogger with a day job . . .
Tom Goldstein predicts that Justice Stevens will write the plurality opinion, which means that Justice Kennedy will join him in some sense. If Kennedy writes a separate opinion, it will probably be the governing opinion, and we all know that the limelight-seeking bastard would love that — especially if it gets him some kind words from the New York Times editorial board (which can’t write a coherent editorial, but nevertheless seems to control Justice Kennedy’s vote in high-publicity cases).
Erwin Chemerinsky said on Hewitt’s radio show yesterday that all of this is really just speculation. Let’s hope so. I don’t like the idea of Justice Stevens and Justice Kennedy deciding anything of importance, and certainly not this.
We’ll know soon enough.
UPDATE: Allah has fun speculating about the decision and a possible Stevens retirement.
UPDATE: Per Drudge, the speculation was right. The commissions are illegal, by a 5-3 vote. Again, not surprising. More and more, Kennedy is a reliable vote for whatever the New York Times editorial board wants.
Of all the Justices, I respect him least.
UPDATE 8:59 p.m.: I tried making my way through the opinion today, but I still have a long way to go — and I try not to comment on legal opinions unless I have first read them. From the parts I did read and the coverage I have seen, it appears that, in theory, Congress can still grant the President the authority that he seeks. So depending on what Congress does, the opinion might not be terribly significant after all.