My favourite Rightie Poindexter, George Will, excoriates Republican presidential hopeful John McCain for one more subject on which he shows tremendous lack of understanding: the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus. Or for that matter, legal issues in general. Or for that matter, the pulse of the public, for whom the “activist judges” meme may or may not have every really resonated in the first place:
Did McCain’s extravagant condemnation of the court’s habeas ruling result from his reading the 126 pages of opinions and dissents? More likely, some clever ignoramus convinced him that this decision could make the Supreme Court — meaning, which candidate would select the best judicial nominees — a campaign issue.
The decision, however, was 5 to 4. The nine justices are of varying quality, but there are not five fools or knaves. The question of the detainees’ — and the government’s — rights is a matter about which intelligent people of good will can differ.