White House Kabuki: The Administration Reacts to the SCOTUS
The Bush Administration's preliminary reactions to the Supreme Court's ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld are in -- and they're not terribly exciting or surprising.
At a press conference earlier today with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, President Bush got peppered with questions about the decision. Pretty much every non-Asian journalist in the room asked about Hamdan. Bush said that "we take them [the Supreme Court] very seriously." Glad to hear it; so do we. He also stated that "we will conform to the Supreme Court." Nothing controversial there.
Tony Snow's PM presser wasn't much more exciting. Every journalist present tried to get Snow to admit that the SCOTUS handed the White House its ass on a platter. But Snow didn't take the bait, refusing to admit that the executive branch got housed by the judiciary. Quoth Tony: "You don't sit around going, 'Oh my gosh, the Supreme Court ruling!' You try and deal with it."
A few more remarks, after the jump.
Most of Snow's comments were pretty banal. But we have to give him props -- he's so much better than Scotty at saying the same thing over and over again, without seeming to.
Snow gave the assembled reporters a little civics lesson: "There are always disagreements between the branches of government, that's the way the system works." And he denied that the White House holds "Expand Executive Power" meetings. Yes, that's right -- they like to call them "Cabinet meetings."
The best part of the briefing was when Snow marched through the confusing web of separate opinions, highlighting how fragmented the Court's ruling was and how difficult it is to divine a clear holding from them. Upshot: "Oh, those wacky Supreme Court justices, who knows what those guys mean!"