Graham Calls Supreme Court Detainee Ruling ‘dangerous and Irresponsible’
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Kevin Bishop
June 12, 2008 (864) 250-1417
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the Supreme Court ruling granting terror suspects in the War on Terror the right to sue in federal court.
“I am deeply disappointed in what I think is a tremendously dangerous and irresponsible ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Court’s decision is bad on many levels and I will continue to review the decision and determine its sweeping effect on our military. I will also explore the possibility, if necessary, of a constitutional amendment to blunt the effect of this decision when it comes to protecting our men and women in the military and our nation as a whole.
“The Court has conferred upon civilian judges the right to make military decisions. These judges have virtually no training in military matters yet civilian judges, in some of the most liberal district courts in the country, will have an opportunity to determine who is a threat to the United States.
“Furthermore, the habeas trials will put great burdens on our military forces. Enemy combatants potentially may be able to sue American troops for money damages and federal judges will now be in charge of the day-to-day military prisons and the interrogation of prisoners. This will empower activist lawyers and interest groups to intervene in basic military matters for the first time in history.
“The Court ruling establishes a dangerous precedent for our country by conferring upon non-citizen enemy combatants the same rights as American citizens in a criminal proceeding. They ignore the fact these combatants are warriors, not common criminals. It is why I continue to believe the legal rights of enemy combatants should be governed by the law of war, not domestic criminal law.
“The Court’s ruling makes clear the legal rights given to Al Qaeda members today should exceed those provided to the Nazis during World War II. Our nation is at war. It’s truly unfortunate the Supreme Court did not recognize and appreciate that fact.
“I agree with Chief Justice John Roberts who noted the legal procedures available to detainees today are unprecedented and more than sufficient. I only wish one more member of the Court would have listened to his wise counsel. Instead, they took what I consider to be completely dangerous and irresponsible actions during a time of war.
“I agree with Senator John McCain and others that the country would be better off with the closure of Guantanamo Bay in an appropriate fashion that protects our national security interests. However, that is not the issue presented to us by the Court. At the end of the day, the military is best equipped to determine who presents a military threat to the United States, not civilian judges.”