"What this decision has done is, it's hampered our ability to move forward with a tool which we had hoped would be available to the president of the United States in dealing with terrorists," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told CNN.
..."We are currently evaluating the writings of the Supreme Court," Gonzales said, and "we are going to be working closely with Congress to look at legislation."
mcJoan's post below discusses how the Republican strategists are going to try and make political hay out of the decision, but the New York Times, in a detailed article examining the Senate's response to the ruling, indicates that all may not be smooth sailing for the White House in its bid to get what it wants from legislators who in the past have seemed more than eager to roll over and play dead:
A leading Senate Republican said Friday that he was not sure that Congress should pass legislation to create new military tribunals for terror suspects, a stance that raised doubts about prospects for a White House plan to establish an alternative to the commissions struck down this week by the Supreme Court.
The senator, John W. Warner of Virginia, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said he had not yet decided what course Congress should take. But Mr. Warner, who will preside over hearings on the issue in July, said he was concerned that new tribunals, even if authorized by Congress, might not withstand judicial scrutiny.
Gonzales' steadfastly maintained today that the Supreme Court still thinks it's hunky dory that the administration can hold anyone as long as it likes:
Gonzales emphasized that the court ruling didn't say "that we could not continue to hold enemy combatants indefinitely for the duration of hostilities, which was something the Supreme Court said we could do..." ..."That path is still available to us. The president of the United States can continue to hold enemy combatants at Guantanamo.
It will be interesting to see if Gonzales' unlimited detention assertion can withstand public scrutiny - an altogether different kettle of fish than the attorney general's interpretation of judicial approval of sweeping imperial imprisoning power - in light of yesterday's report by a European inspection team that there may only be 30 or 40 "real cases" in need of detention at the facility.