The ruling, a rebuke to the administration and its aggressive anti- terror policies, was written by Justice John Paul Stevens, who said the proposed trials were illegal under U.S. law and international Geneva conventions.
The case focused on Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni who worked as a bodyguard and driver for Osama bin Laden. Hamdan, 36, has spent four years in the U.S. prison in Cuba. He faces a single count of conspiring against U.S. citizens from 1996 to November 2001.
Two years ago, the court rejected Bush's claim to have the authority to seize and detain terrorism suspects and indefinitely deny them access to courts or lawyers. In this follow-up case, the justices focused solely on the issue of trials for some of the men.
I haven't had time to read the decision, but I expect it will come down to a question of prevalence of the theory of the unitary executive. Since Thomas, Scalia, and Alito are all more or less originalists, they would have backed the theory. I already knew that Kennedy was no fan of the theory, so Roberts' recusal was of no consequence under those circumstances.