Judge Michael Luttig is part of the three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which was asked to consider the request by the Bush administration to transfer Jose Padilla from military to civilian law custody. The panel denied the request and gave the administration a sharply worded statement:
The government's behavior, Luttig said in conclusion, has "left the impression that the government may even have come to the belief that the principle in reliance upon which it has detained Padilla for this long time, that the President possesses the authority to detain enemy combatants who enter this country for the purpose of attacking America and its citizens from within, can, in the end, yield to expediency with little or no cost to its conduct of the war against terror -- an impression we would have thought the government likewise could ill afford to leave extant.
"And these impressions have been left, we fear, at what may ultimately prove to be substantial cost to the government's credibility before the courts, to whom it will one day need to argue again in support of a principle of assertedly like importance and necessity to the one that it seems to abandon today.
Nice, huh? Of course the wingnut take on this would be to remove this activist commie judge immediately and replace him with someone who has been born again and regards Bush as the second incarnation of the Christ.
See how I'm trying to post mostly nice things right before Christmas? Ho ho ho.