This, from an article about Sen. Specter’s efforts to acknowledge existing Constitutional principles within the recent torture bill, shows what’s wrong with Congress:
But for at least some Democrats involved in lobbying on the bill, the defeat of these amendments — plus Specter’s — was not entirely an unhappy result. Some lawyers representing detainees told lawmakers before the vote that they were convinced the Supreme Court would strike down Bush’s version of the bill.
They argued against a compromise — such as Specter’s unoffered amendment — on grounds that it could make the outcome more difficult for the court to reject, a senior Democratic aide said. “We were hearing from some of the constitutional experts that . . . it is better to leave the pig ugly than put lipstick on it,” the aide said, explaining why Democrats did not propose a habeas corpus amendment that might have won.
I understand the logic, but it’s a sad indictment of the hacks in Congress that everyone can just leave the mess to the Supreme Court. That’s certainly no guarantee that the President will be held to his Constitutional limits.