Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Federal Court Orders Padilla Set Free Failing Criminal Charges by the Government

Oh how slowly the wheels of American justice turn, but turn they do. In a ruling yesterday afternoon U.S. District Judge Henry Floyd, sitting of South Carolina, ordered the government to charge Padilla with a crime within 45 days or let him go.

Calling the Padilla case a matter of law enforcement and not a military matter, the judge ruled that the government cannot hold the so-called “enemy combatant” without charging him with a crime. The judge future implied that the President had overstepped the authority of his office is declaring Padilla an enemy combatant stating,
Since (Padilla's) alleged terrorist plans were thwarted when he was arrested on the material witness warrant, the court finds that the president's subsequent decision to detain (him) as an enemy combatant was neither necessary nor appropriate.

Judge Floyd went on to write:
It is true that there may be times during which it is necessary to give the executive branch greater power than at other times. Such a granting of power, however, is in the province of the legislature and no one else -- not the court and not the president.

I agree, the President grossly overstepped the bounds of his office in declaring Padilla an “enemy combatant” while at the same time giving the “American Taliban” John Walker, who is white, a free pass, despite the fact that he was found on the field of battle in Afghanistan. Walker, who was never labeled an enemy combatant, was charged criminally and is now serving time; meanwhile Padilla is languishing in a military brig in South Carolina, charged with nothing. Such arbitrary distinctions clearly violate the 14th Amendment, and shout of racial bias on the part of the President.

It’s a shame that a ruling of this nature had to take as long as it did. But I never lost faith in the justice system to rule in favor of Padilla however long it took. The government will of course appeal, but hopefully the 4th Circuit will rule as the District Court did, and set Mr. Padilla free…however onerous his (alleged) behavior, he is an American citizen and deserving of the Constitutional right afforded to us all.

1 comment:

jude said...

This is really interesting. I heard about Padilla about a year and ahalf before it hit the news here, because my daughter lives in Canada. She claims that much of what goes on in the US is filtered in presenting it through news services, so that she would hear such info, where I was not aware of this until she told me. Mom and I are pretty much CNN addicts.I suspect if more Americans knew what was going on, they would realize how far this governemnt has gone to interfere with our constitutionally guaranteed bill of rights.

Intersting also is that mu nephew is trying to recruit (mom) Granniemose to his Republican views, and believes that Fox news is the only news service that tells the truth. He is 18. I told her to tell him that we susbscribe to a Liberals only cable serbice, where Fox news is not available. Think he will believe that?