Are Congress, Conservatives Responsible For Civilian Terrorism Trials?

A bipartisan group of senators, led by Lindsey Graham (R-SC), are proposing a bill to cut off funding for federal trials of suspected 9/11 conspirators (including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) in civilian courts, but Atlantic Correspondents blogger Andrew Cohen says these senators have themselves, and other national security conservatives in Congress, to blame for where terrorist trials stand: congressional Republicans overreached repeatedly when the Bush administration was drafting its policies on military tribunals, effectively eliminating military trials as a viable possibility for terrorism suspects--since those schematics were shot down by the Supreme Court. Cohen writes:

[E]ach time the Congress faced the issue, a clear majority of its members insisted upon a series of rules and regulations that were constitutionally doomed before the ink on the legislation was dry. The Supreme Court-- a very conservative Supreme Court, I shouldn't have to add-- ruled against the Congress and the Bush Administration on such topics over and over again. In 2004. In 2006. In 2008. It was Congress' stubborness, and the legal stasis it generated, that has forced the Obama Administration to choose another path.

See the full post at Cohen's Atlantic Correspondents blog.

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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