A federal appeals court ruled today that the president can indefinitely detain a U.S. citizen captured on U.S. soil in the absence of criminal charges, holding that such authority is vital to protect the nation from terrorist attacks.
The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit came in the case of Jose Padilla, a former Chicago gang member who was arrested in Chicago in 2002 and designated an "enemy combatant" by President Bush. The government contends that Padilla trained at al Qaeda camps and was planning to blow up apartment buildings in the United States.
Padilla, a U.S. citizen, has been held without trial in a U.S. naval brig for more than three years, and his case triggered a legal battle with vast implications for civil liberties and the fight against terrorism.
The Fourth Circuit decision was written by Judge J. Michael Luttig. Note where he was born. Note who appointed him to the Circuit.
Guess where I'm going with this?
If Bush's approval ratings were significantly higher, I'd say this decision nails down Luttig's seat on the high bench. But Bush is crippled, and the Dems know it. This has fillibuster written all over it.