The Right Coast
April 20, 2004
By Mike Rappaport
Consider this account of Justices Breyer and Scalia debating, while Ted Olson looks on, whether the Supreme Court should allow the Guantanamo prisoners access to federal courts:
Mr. Olson barely had a chance to respond before Justice Antonin Scalia began to make his argument for him. Addressing Mr. Olson, but clearly aiming his rebuttal at Justice Breyer, Justice Scalia said: "We can't call witnesses and see what the real problems are, can we, in creating this new substantive rule that we're going to let the courts create." He continued: "We have only lawyers before us, we have no witnesses, we have no cross-examination, we have no investigative staff. And we should be the ones, Justice Breyer suggests, to draw up this reticulated system to preserve our military from intervention by the courts?"
The exchange provided one of the few dramatic moments of the argument, indicating that however the court resolves this case, the decision is not likely to be unanimous.