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Monday, July 28, 2008

The Week Ahead

Have the midsummer blues caught up with you yet? If the heat, mosquitoes or boredom are starting to get to you, boy have we got some diversions for you. Well, DC-style diversions, anyway.

As far as Justice Watch is concerned, the week starts and ends with Gitmo, as the House Armed Services Committee will hold a pair of hearings entitled “Implications of the Supreme Court’s Boumediene Decision for Detainees at Guantanamo Bay.” Part I will take place Wednesday morning, and will feature “Non-Governmental Perspectives” from a quartet of witnesses, including a Georgetown law professor, a couple of private practice lawyers, and, as the main event, the former Chief Prosecutor of the Office of Military Commissions, Colonel Morris Davis. Thursday afternoon’s Part II will trot out several Bush cronies--who apparently are so scared of opposition that they wanted a hearing of their own--for an “Administration Perspective” that should prove to be infuriating.

On the other side of the Capitol, the Senate Judiciary Committee will convene Wednesday morning to discuss a topic that has been well-worn on the Hill: the hearing “Politicized Hiring at the Department of Justice” will feature testimony from Inspector General Glenn A. Fine. If Mr. Fine breaks with the attorney general’s approach for congressional hearings and decides to provide full and honest answers, we could be in for a treat. We’re not holding our breath, but the DoJ report released today should provide a fair amount of fireworks.

The scope will be a little narrower on Thursday afternoon as the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties gets together. The topic will be the State Secrets Protection Act of 2008, a bill authored by Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) in January. If the intricacies of executive privilege are your cup of tea, pencil this hearing into your Blackberry.

As the calendar slowly flips to August and recess approaches, we hope you will consider this blog an alternate midsummer destination. Because Congress may rest, but Justice Watch never does.

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