In a stinging rejection of one of the Bush administration’s central assertions about the scope of executive authority to combat terrorism, a federal appeals court ordered the Pentagon to release a man being held as an enemy combatant.And a slap in the face on the continued tenure of Alberto Gonzales:
“To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians," Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote, “even if the President calls them ‘enemy combatants,’ would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution — and the country.”
“We refuse to recognize a claim to power,” Judge Motz added, “that would so alter the constitutional foundations of our Republic.”
Senate Democrats fell short this afternoon in their effort to hold a vote of no confidence in Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales but still registered a strong, if symbolic, rebuke of the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.A majority registered their intent to say no to Gonzales. That's a glaring admonishment of Gonzales. If he had any sense of decency, he'd resign.
The Senate voted 53 to 38 to end debate and allow a vote on the no-confidence motion itself. Since 60 votes were required to shut off the debate, or invoke cloture, supporters of the motion were lacking seven votes. But Mr. Gonzales’s critics could console themselves with the knowledge that they mustered a majority, and that several Republicans sided with them .