Friday, June 13, 2008

Habeas Corpus

It was a close call, but finally the Supreme Court, by a narrow 5-4, voted to restore Habeas Corpus and respect the Constitution for a change.
The usual evil suspects that voted against the Constitution: Scalia, Roberts, Alito and Thomas.
Bunch of pricks.

Thursday, the court turned back the most recent effort to subvert justice with a stirring defense of habeas corpus, the right of anyone being held by the government to challenge his confinement before a judge. The court ruled that the detainees being held in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have that cherished right, and that the process for them to challenge their confinement is inadequate. It was a very good day for people who value freedom and abhor Mr. Bush’s attempts to turn Guantánamo Bay into a constitutional-rights-free zone. The right of habeas corpus is so central to the American legal system that it has its own clause in the Constitution: it cannot be suspended except “when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.”
Reading the comments in the NYT, one still finds the assholes who think that by suspending habeas corpus, someone is going to bomb their lawn. It is possible that some of the "enemy combatants" unlawfully imprisoned in Guantánamo are dangerous people, but it is a known fact that there have been many prisoners for whom no evidence of wrongdoing exists. Nobody, good or bad, has had their day in court. This is unacceptable in the system we live in.
And it is a slippery slope: first goes anyone who looks Arab and then but for the grace of God go you and I. Fearmongering is the best weapon of despots.
Despite of Bush's best efforts we are still a country with democratic institutions, and not something resembling the Taliban. American citizens who don't comprehend this perhaps should move to Iran or Afghanistan or any of those places where they wouldn't know an individual right if it bit them in the ass.
This is America still. But what a close call.

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