Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Rodney Dangerfield of Supreme Court decisions?

I realize that many of my students may never have heard of Rodney Dangerfield, but he is a famous (and intentionally annoying) comedian of my era. His most repeated line is, "I get no respect," after which he launces into a long, sad list of disrespectful things that had happened to him.
Rodney Dangerfield Pictures & Photos
At any rate, I read an article in the New York Times today which talks about the Obama administration's retreat from the Bush administration's aggressive stance on treatment of "enemy combatant" detainees.

Funny thing: the article mentions several reasons that Obama has taken a different stance, mostly crediting world opinion, but it fails to mention the Supreme Court's equally important rulings in the detainee cases (Hamdi, Rasul, Hamdan, Boumedienne, for example) that clipped the president's wings and forced him to share decision making on these issues with Congress and to recognize detainees' rights to habeas corpus. Is the Supreme Court now the Rodney Dangerfield of the three branches?