In a stylish curtain raiser, the New York Times reports that onlookers at the Supreme Court session tomorrow may be forgiven for thinking they have fallen into a time warp. The court will be taking up anew the question of whether federal judges have jurisdiction to hear cases brought by detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
The issue is being reexamined, the paper says, because events have occurred since the high court last examined it in 2004 that require a new analysis of the legal issues involved. This latest Supreme Court confrontation — the third time the high court has taken up the issue — reflects the series of actions and reactions that has now cycled back to where it began: the role of the federal courts. This third round is potentially the most momentous, the Times says, because at issue is whether the Supreme Court will continue to have a role or whether the executive branch is to have the final word.