Thursday, March 04, 2004

The Bush Administration's War on Civil Rights

CNN has an article on Jose Padilla, aka the dirty bomber. Padilla is being detained without any charges being filed against him. After 22 months in detention, he was allowed to see two attorneys for the first time yesterday.

The meeting between Padilla and his counsel was videotaped with sound by the government and the attorneys' notes were photocopied. Now, as an attorney, I find this absolutely repugnant.

But the 2nd Circuit had to get involved before the Administration would even let Padilla speak to these attorneys.

Selected Quote:
Last December, the 2nd Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled the president, even as commander-in-chief, has no legal authority to indefinitely detain an American citizen without charges, if that prisoner was not captured on a battlefield.

Lincoln did suspend the writ of habeus corpus during the civil war. Bush has just ignored habeus corpus and would continue to do so for the duration of a "war" that will never end.

If Bush can lock up American citizens with no evidence and with no judicial review...then the Constitution is a dead letter and the Republic has come to an end. I don't think I can express my opinion on this too strongly.

The Supreme Court has agreed to review this case. I am eager to hear what they have to say on the matter.

Just to make sure we're all on the same page, habeus corpus is a constitutional protection against illegal imprisonment. See Fay v. Noia, 372 U.S. 391 (1963). Also Findlaw has a page of war on terrorism pleadings and articles here.

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