Jurisprudence - Foreign Precedent
This story is pretty much good news. I won't comment on wether or not Spain is better than the US at incriminating terrorists and their collaborators. I know practically nothing about this case, or Spanish law for that matter to even attempt to bloviate on this one.
However, my crystal ball says that at some point in the near future similar cases involving similar people (Jose Padilla comes to mind) in similar circumstances (Padilla has yet to be charged with anything, but he if he were to be charged with something, it would probably be conspiracy) will appear before the Supreme Court.
You may recall that recently Scalia sympathizers berieved Justice Kennedy's majority dissent regarding the state sponsored murder of minors. You may also recall that Scalia's opinion to the contrary included blasting Kennedy for finding precedent in cases overseas. I also recall that soon to be Cheif Roberts said in his hearing that he opposed seeking precedent in international law.
So, should a case like this one or Padilla's come before the court, I wonder wether Roberts or Scalia or even Thomas (all now on record against citing foreign precedent in opinions) will use the Spanish case as a crutch for incrimination.
I hate using speculation to populate this blog but I really would love to see the assrockets of the world wriggle their way out of such a situation. Should the perfect storm of appeals, ACLU suits, and legal ladder climbing combine to form a case like the Spanish one before the nation's highest court, resulting in a conservative writting for the majority, citing that even in Spain ..., well at least I could point back to this post and say "I told ya so."
Then again, the circumstances surrounding Padilla (the probable case for my imaginary legal scenario) are rather disturbing wether or not he is a terrorist. Holding an American Citizen without charge is beyond unconstitutional and brinks on behavior seen in pre-WW Germany.