AlphaTrigger saidWonder what the SCOTUS will do with this.
Play a political game with it. I truly believe Obama has few core principles, though a blank slate is preferable to the anti-civil rights slates of his current leading Republican opponents.
The critical issues may be whether this Senate bill is veto-proof (having gotten 60 votes), and what other vital legislation has been attached to it. That's the leverage the Republican Senate used to strong-arm Bill Clinton into signing DOMA in the 1990s, when he had little choice, but today he alone gets all the blame.
Obama and his political advisers must be wondering whether those 60 votes would stand firm against his veto. And how damaging a veto would be as 2012 approaches, when the Republicans would portray him as "soft on terrorism."
But signing it would make him partner to one of the worst violations of US Constitutional protections in our history. And like Clinton and DOMA, this bill would come back to blacken his legacy in years to come, forgotten Republicans in Congress from decades earlier escaping the blame as in the Clinton/DOMA case.
My guess is that Obama will rationalize that the bill is veto-proof, going into law with or without his signature. So he'll sign it, to avoid political damage in 2012, taking the short-term political gain for the long-term historical loss. And perhaps telling himself he can overturn it in his second term, and not using its authority himself.
Except if he loses the White House, a real possibility, he'll have given his Republican successor the most terrible tool a President has ever wielded against US citizens. Candidates who are not shy of their intention to use it to torture & detain without restraint, like world dictators of the past.