What Does the Padilla Verdict Mean?:
Here's my take. In the short term, the major significance of the Padilla verdict is that the Administration won't have to face the question of what to do next in this case. A guilty verdict only settles this one case, but this one case otherwise could have gone on for a long time and likely would have ended up back at the Supreme Court. In the longer term, this case adds one data point in favor of using the criminal justice system to prosecute terrorist suspects. Every case is different, and no one verdict can settle very much in this debate; each verdict can only be a single data point in a broader set. But this case adds a data point in favor of using the criminal justice system. Beyond that, though, this verdict doesn't settle very much. Most importantly, it doesn't change how Padilla has been treated all this time; it doesn't erase the last six years. So while this one case is over, the questions it raised should and will continue.