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John Gibson calls Justice "our boy Scalia"

Reported by Chrish - March 28, 2006

Twice in a segment with Judge Andrew Napolitano on The Big Story today 3/28/06 host and faux journalist John Gibson referred to the ultra-conservative Justice as "our boy Scalia."

At issue was the calls from a group of retired U.S. generals and admirals, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and from Rep. John Conyers for Scalia to recuse himself from today's hearing of oral arguments in the case of military tribunals for "enemy combatants" being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Scalia has recently made remarks while speaking in Switzerland to the effect that these detainees do not have full rights under American law nor under the Geneva Conventions. There was also concern because some of his comments were made referencing his son's recent military service in Iraq and his personal connection might prejudice his ruling.

Napolitano is firmly of the opinion that morally Scalia must recuse himself, but not legally - as he (Scalia) does not have a boss who could force him off, it is his individual decision whether to stay or go. Napolitano says "When you go into a court you expect the judge to have an open mind, not to have decided the case before it's even argued." When Gibson argues that the lawyers who will be presenting their case will be good and may convince him, JAN replies that their job is not to change his mind from one position to another, it is to convince him from a position of neutrality.

JAN emphasizes the importance of the case: when 400-some Gitmo detainees complained about not having charges, demanding to know why they were being held, Congress changed the law to say that they didn't have the right to file these complaints: first go through a military tribunal, then if you lose you can file a complaint. So the issue confronting the Supreme Court is whether Congres has the right itself to take away the rights of the detainees "mid-stream".

Gibson then repeats what he said at the beginning of the segment: "You're throwing our man Scalia under the bus," to which JAN replies, "He's a great man. He can deal with it."

Scalia did not recuse himself from the case.

JAN was as fair and professional as ever, but Gibson? He didn't even attempt to appear unbiased.

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