His wartime powers undercut once before by the Supreme Court, President George W. Bush could take a second hit in a case in which Osama bin Laden's former driver is seeking to head off a trial before military officers.
At stake is more than whether Salim Ahmed Hamdan, after nearly four years at the Navy prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, goes on trial for war crimes before a special military commission.
Analysts say if the high court rejects Bush's plan to hold such trials for the first time since the aftermath of World War II, it could rein in the president's expanded powers in pursuing and punishing suspected terrorists.
In addition to special military trials for Hamdan and others, the Bush administration since the attacks of September 11, 2001, has claimed it has the authority to eavesdrop on telephone conversations without court oversight, aggressively interrogate foreigners and imprison people without giving them traditional legal rights.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>