The Court's rejection of the administration's attempts to sideline the courts may well have been the most enduring and important aspect of the war powers litigation over the last several years. Think about what happened in a case such as Hamdan: A man from Yemen with a fourth-grade education sues the nation's most powerful officials, brings his case to the highest court in the land . . . and wins. In many other countries, Mr. Hamdan would have been shot simply for bring-ing his case. But America is different. Our founders had the genius and humility to recognize that men are not going to be angels, and the system needs to develop an organic method to correct errors. Sometimes those errors will be made by the most powerful official in the land, and sometimes it will take one of the weakest (and maybe even most reprehensible) individuals to point out the error. But, as Americans, we believe we are strong enough, and that our principles are strong enough, to let the weak fight the strong in court. That is a recipe for truly winning the war on terror-to showcase America's ideals and its strength.
The next president would be wise to remember the genius of our system, and embrace our dis-tinctive American contributions instead of trying to abandon them.
Neal Kumar Katyal is the Saunders Professor of Law, and director of the Center for Law and Na-tional Security, at Georgetown University. He was previously lead counsel in Hamdan v. Rums-feld and national security adviser at the U.S. Department of Justice.
Within His Rights
The president hasn't ignored precedent and the Constitution. The U.S. courts have.
By David B. Rivkin, Jr. and Lee A. Casey