looks like a victory for the constitution, time for the gov't to prove these guys are guilty (which if it has the intelligence and the proof, it can do and i hope it does) my mistake, i mean the supreme court SIDESTEPS, not dismisses the padilla case http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5316401/ Court: Terror suspects can challenge detentions Guantanamo Bay ruling is blow to administration's war on terror An inmate of Camp X-Ray at the U.S. Navy Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is escorted by two guards past other inmates in a March 15, 2002 file photo. BREAKING NEWS MSNBC staff and news service reports Updated: 10:51 a.m. ET June 28, 2004WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that prisoners seized as potential terrorists and held for more than two years at a U.S. military prison camp in Cuba may challenge their captivity in American courts, a major defeat for President Bush in one of the first major high court cases arising from the Sept. 11 attacks. In related cases, the court ruled that an American citizen suspected of aiding the enemy can go to court to challenge his indefinite detention as an enemy combatant but declined to rule in a similar case involving an American suspected in a terrorist plot. The 6-to-3 ruling in the Guantanamo case passed no judgment on the guilt or innocence of the approximately 600 foreign-born men held in the Navy-run prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The justices also did not address the broad issues of human rights and civil liberties surrounding the prisoners' seizure and detention without trial or guaranteed access to a lawyer. Prisoners expected to appeal to federal court For now, the high court said only that the men can take the first legal step in contesting U.S. authority to hold them. The men can now presumably take their complaints to a U.S. federal judge, even though they are physically held beyond U.S. borders. The court also ruled that while the administration has the power to detain Yaser Esam Hamdi, a U.S. citizen suspected of aiding the enemy, without charges or trial, but that he has the right to challenge his treatment in court. Separately, the justices dismissed a case involving American terror suspect Jose Padilla on a technicality and sent it back to a lower court. Bush administration lawyers contend that Padilla, a former Chicago gang member, was an al-Qaida operative who was planning a radiological "dirty bomb" attack in the United States at the time of his arrest two years ago as he returened to the United States from Afghanistan. The Hamdi ruling did not fully address many hard questions raised by the case. Hamdi has been detained more than two years and only recentrly allowed to see a lawyer. His parents are Saudis and he was born in the United States. The administration had fought any suggestion that Hamdi or another U.S.-born terrorism suspect, Jose Padilla, could go to court, saying a legal fight was a threat to the president's power to wage war as he sees fit. "We have no reason to doubt that courts faced with these sensitive matters will pay proper heed both to the matters of national security that might arise in an individual case and to the constitutional limitations safeguarding essential liberties that remain vibrant even in times of security concerns," Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote for the court. O'Connor said that Hamdi "unquestionably has the right to access to counsel." The court threw out a lower court ruling that supported the government's position fully, and Hamdi's case now returns to a lower court. The careful opinion seemed deferential to the White House, but did not give the president everything he wanted. The government says Hamdi was captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan, where he was fighting alongside Taliban forces against U.S.-led coalition troops. The ruling is the largest test so far of executive power in the post-Sept. 11 assault on terrorism. MSNBC.com's Tom Curry and the Associated Press contributed to this report.