The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times. To hold that the political branches may switch the Constitution on or off at will would lead to a regime in which they, not this court, say what the law is. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court, on its 5-4 decision yesterday asserting that foreign terror suspects held at Guantanamo have an inherent constitutional right to challenge their detention in American courts.
Everyone who believes that America is a country devoted to the rule of law should celebrate because this ruling says that the executive needs to be accountable to a neutral judicial forum in its decisions to imprison people — and that is the basic restraint on tyranny that animated the American Revolution. Eric M. Freedman, Maurice Deane distinguished professor of constitutional law at Hofstra