WASHINGTON – Majority Leader Bill Frist said Monday the Senate is unlikely to take up legislation addressing the legal rights of suspected terrorists until at least after Congress's August recess.
Frist said Republicans are in the process of discussing their legislative options with Democrats and the Bush administration. Because the issue falls within the jurisdiction of several committees, members also are trying to coordinate their response.
"We will act legislatively," Frist told reporters.
The Supreme Court on June 29 ruled 5-to-3 that President Bush's plan to try detainees captured in the war on terror through secret military tribunals violates U.S. and international law.
The decision puts the ball in Congress's court, forcing lawmakers to address the thorny issue of legal rights for enemy combatants in an election season.
Lawmakers and congressional aides say there are a range of options that could be pursued, including passing legislation specifically authorizing Bush's proposed military tribunals or setting up a system similar to the military courts-martial system.