The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the Bush administration cannot use special war crimes tribunals to try terror suspects held at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention center.
In a five-to-three decision, the court said Thursday that President Bush overstepped his powers by setting up the tribunals.
Mr. Bush said he will conform with the court's ruling, and suggested there may be a way to work with the U.S. Congress to make the tribunals viable.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said he will introduce legislation authorizing tribunals.
The court ruled that U.S. law and the Geneva Conventions apply to Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a former bodyguard and driver for Osama bin Laden. This means he could now be tried either by court martial, which is the traditional military justice system, or in a civilian court, but not by the specially-created tribunal.
Hamdan's appointed lawyer -- a U.S. military officer -- called the ruling a return to America's fundamental values.
This is the second major decision against the Bush administration on Guantanamo. Two years ago, the court rejected the president's claim of authority to order detainees held indefinitely without access to courts or lawyers.
International human rights advocates and many U.S. allies have criticized the Bush administration for its policies toward more than 400 terror suspects held at the military base.
The White House argued that as commander-in-chief in wartime, the president had the authority to set up the tribunals. Administration lawyers say detainees at Guantanamo Bay are considered what they called "enemy combatants" and should be tried as war criminals.
Although the administration said the prisoners did not have the protection of the Geneva Conventions, it says they are being treated in conditions "consistent" with those rights.
President Bush has said he would like to close the facility, but that the detainees are dangerous terrorists.
Chief Justice John Roberts did not take part in the decision because of his involvement in an earlier stage of the case.