Military Commissions Act of 2006: Striking the Right Balance
October 10, 2006David B. Rivkin, Jr., Lee A. Casey, Andrew C. McCarthy, Glenn M. Sulmasy
The Bush Administration’s Military Commissions Act of 2006 ("MCA"), put forward partially in response to the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision handed down by the Supreme Court in May 2006 and also to provide a more politically durable foundation for USG’s legal policies in the ongoing war on terror, fully comports with both the U.S. Constitution and international law – specifically, international law of armed conflict. After a vigorous debate on both sides of the political spectrum, large bi-partisan majorities in both the House and the Senate supported the enactment of this legislation. Significantly, instead of rubberstamping the Administration’s original legislative proposal, there was considerable give and take between the Congress and the President, with a particularly negotiation between the White House representatives and a group of Senators, including John Warner (R-VA), John McCain (R-AZ), and Lindsey Graham (R-NC).