That’s what this boils down to. If America is going to have a King, then sure, he can imprison anyone he wants for as long as he wants for any reason (like, for instance, the person could expose a crime committed by himself or someone in his throne room). A dictator could lock someone up or have them killed for no reason at all. Otherwise, all people have the right to a speedy trial and we only lock people up when there is evidence that they have done something wrong.
The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide the most fundamental question yet concerning executive power in the age of terror: Can the president order the indefinite military detention of people living in the United States? The case concerns Ali al-Marri, the only person on the American mainland being held as an enemy combatant, at the Navy brig in Charleston, S.C. Mr. Marri, a citizen of Qatar, was legally in the United States when he was arrested in December 2001 in Peoria, Ill., where he was living with his family and studying computer science at Bradley University. … The case, which will probably be argued in the spring, will present the Obama administration with several difficult strategic choices. It can continue to defend the Bush administration’s expansive interpretation of executive power, advance a more modest one or short-circuit the case by moving it to the criminal justice system. … “Since the nation’s founding,” the brief said, “persons lawfully residing in this country have correctly understood that they can be imprisoned for suspected wrongdoing only if the government charges them with a crime and tries them before a jury.” – nyt