Earlier today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the hundreds of enemy combatants currently being held at a military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, do not have the ability to challenge their indefinite imprisonment via the American court system. Makes perfect sense, right? It amazes me that we’ve arrived at this juncture in the first place.

You’ll recall that Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, filed a case last summer that made it all the way to the Supreme Court in which he challenged his detention under a writ of habeas corpus — a move asking the courts to rule on whether the prisoner was being held lawfully or should be released. The Supreme Court ruled that the original rule under which President Bush had been holding detainees was unconstitutional, but said the president could seek congressional authorization for the authority he sought to hold detainees and try them via military commissions.

Last fall, the president asked the Congress for this authority and a new law was passed called the Military Commissions Act that took away the ability of detainees at Guantanamo Bay to bring their cases before the federal court system. Only in America would the enemies of America and our way of life seek legal redress for alleged harms against them.

We’re not talking about Boy Scouts who got lost in the woods and were detained by the U.S. military, mind you. We’re talking about enemy combatants, those captured or found on the battlefields in Iraq, Afghanistan and other fronts in the war against terror. I can’t remember the statistics, but I’ve read that some of the enemy combatants previously detained at Guantanamo Bay have resurfaced only to be killed or captured again by American forces in Iraq and elsewhere.

In the relevant section of his opinion, Circuit Court Judge A. Raymond Randolph writes: “Everyone who has followed the interaction between Congress and the Supreme Court knows full well that one of the primary purposes of the [Military Commissions Act] was to overrule [the Supreme Court’s decision giving detainees access to federal courts].” Randolph went on to say that to accept the argument that detainees would and should be given a right for legal redress in federal court “would be to defy the will of Congress.”

I can’t say I’m surprised, but there’s already legislation pending in the Congress to strike down certain parts of the Military Commissions Act and allow enemy combatants once again to seek legal redress in federal court of the country they hate — perhaps allowing these combatants to return to the battlefields to kill more American soldiers the politicians in Washington, D.C., claim they support. Unbelievable.

For today, at least, chalk up one for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals doing the right thing to protect our troops and protect the lives of the American people.