I wish I believed this actually meant something.
The Supreme Court Thursday ruled that Bush's plan to try Guantanamo detainees before military commissions was illegal, that the commissions weren't authorized by federal law and, additionally, violated international law.
There are two parts of this ruling that help make it a total smackdown of the decider's policies. One is that it makes clear that the administration is obliged to follow the Geneva conventions even if they deem them "quaint." The other is its finding that Bush improperly acted on this plan without congressional authorization, a clear rebuke of this administration's attempt to consolidate all power in the executive branch.
All well and good, and the decision was handed down by a solid majority--Chief Justice John Roberts sat this one out, as he'd already ruled (in Bush's favor) on this case as an appeals court judge, but even if Roberts had ruled, the outcome would have been the same--which is gratifying. But does it matter?
It's not just that the usual ass-kissers and cocksuckers in the senate are already lining up to give Bush the authorization to go ahead with his military tribunals plan for the detainees. (Aside to Bill Frist: Does Bush have mighty tasty semen? Because you seem to be willing to swallow an awful lot of it. Metaphorically speaking, of course. And, metaphorically, do you deep throat or--never mind...)
With or without congressional authority or judicial approval, Bush will do whatever he wants. Given his propensity for "signing statements"--signing something into law, then declaring that he is not beholden to that law--why should we expect him to be beholden to laws enacted by lesser mortals? The Supreme Court's ruling might be a setback, at least for the moment, but if the Bushinistas have proven anything, it's that they don't care what anyone says.
So expect business as usual.