Reaction to the Supreme Court's 'Hamdan' Decision Lawyers for Guantanamo detainees welcomed Thursday's ruling from the Supreme Court, which blocked the Bush administration's plans for a military tribunal. Some lawmakers said they'd work with the White House to authorize the tribunals. Read a range of reaction.
NPR logo Reaction to the Supreme Court's 'Hamdan' Decision

Reaction to the Supreme Court's 'Hamdan' Decision

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ): "We believe the problems cited by the court can and should be fixed... Working together, Congress and the administration can draft a fair, suitable and constitutionally permissible tribunal statute."

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN): "To keep America safe in the war on terror, I believe we should try terrorists only before military commissions, not in our civilian courts." (Frist said he would introduce legislation on the subject.)

Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI): "The Supreme Court's decision concerning military commissions at Guantanamo Bay is a major rebuke to an administration that has too often disregarded the rule of law."

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): "We can't allow terrorists to simply return home and restart their war plans. Guantanamo will remain open so long as it is in the national security interests of the United States."

Zachary Katznelson (senior counsel for Reprieve, which provides free legal representation to 36 Guantanamo Bay detainees): "It sends a message loud and clear that what President Bush has been doing in the war on terror is illegal. If we are going to win this fight, it is important that we fight it with the rule of law and by the ideals on which the U.S. stands."

Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA): "It's now time for the Bush administration to close the Guantanamo prison, and either return the prisoners to their home countries or bring them to justice in the United States."

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman: "Guantanamo serves as an important detention and intelligence facility. ... It enables us to thwart future attacks. It serves as an important detention center but also an intelligence gathering facility."

House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH): "I know what motivates the president. And that is to protect the American people from attacks here at home and abroad."

Army Maj. Tom Fleener (represents Ali Hamza Ahmad Sulayman al-Bahlul, one of 10 detainees who had been facing military tribunals): "It's going to change everything from how people are held to interrogation techniques that are used to the types of information they can have or can't have."

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT):"The justices have given our system a constitutional tonic that is sorely needed if we are to counter terrorism effectively, efficiently and with American values."

ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero: "The Supreme Court has made clear that the executive branch does not have a blank check in the war on terror and may not run roughshod over the nation's legal system."

Jose Diaz (Spokesman for the U.N. high commissioner for human rights): "It would seem to be a vindication of the need for vigilance in the protection of all human rights, including those of persons suspected of terrorism."

Sen. John Warner (R-VA): "I'm sure we will look at the means to provide them justice under our law."

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA): "As we approach the Fourth of July, it is entirely appropriate that the Supreme Court has reminded the president and Secretary Rumsfeld that there is no excuse for ignoring the rule of law, even when our country is at war."

Michael Ratner (President of the Center for Constitutional Rights) "What this says to the administration is that you can no longer simply decide arbitrarily what you want to do with people, you have to obey the dictates of the Geneva Convention, common article 3, which means you have to treat people humanely according to the convention."

Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH): "We should ensure that those individuals who harbor intelligence that may threaten the United States and those that have wantonly killed Americans and others are not released."

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)