I’m still sorting through the decision myself, but this is probably the most important Supreme Court decision yet overturning President Bush’s policies in the War on Terror, even though in this case Congress had affirmed those policies.
The decision fell along predictable ideological lines, with Justice Kennedy acting as the tie-breaking vote and writing the majority opinion.
Orin Kerr excerpts some key passages from the ruling, and I think this part clarifies where the majority was coming from:
We hold that Art. I, Â§9, cl. 2, of the Constitution has full effect at Guantanamo Bay. If the privilege of habeas corpus is to be denied to the detainees now before us, Congress must act in accordance with the requirements of the Suspension Clause. . . . The MCA does not purport to be a formal suspension of the writ; and the Government, in its submissions to us, has not argued that it is. Petitioners, therefore, are entitled to the privilege of habeas corpus to challenge the legality of their detention.
I still haven’t had a chance to read the dissenting opinions written by Scalia and Roberts, which were both joined by Alito and Thomas. Much more at SCOTUS blog.