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November 15, 2005

Fascism Watch II: No habeus for them, no habeus for us, no problem

-- by Gary Boatwright

Thirty Democratic Senators voted to restrict Habeus Corpus for enemy combatants, proving that fascism has bi-partisan appeal. Up next, *The Streamlined Procedures Act*, which restricts Habeus Corpus rights for the rest of us.

From Talk Left, No Habeas for Them, No Habeas for Us:

Tinkering with habeas corpus is a dangerous thing. Today, Sen. Lindsay Graham and his fellow Senators told you they are only restricting habeas rights of enemy combatants, i.e., foreigners. But on November 16, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a second hearing on S. 1088 (pdf), a bill that would gut habeas corpus rights for Americans.

As Digby noted yesterday, fascism is not an irresistable revolutionary movement, it creeps in through the back door:

"Hitler came to office in 1933 as the result, not of any irresistible revolutionary or national movement sweeping him into power, nor even of a popular victory at the polls, but as part of a shoddy political deal with the 'Old Gang' whom he had been attacking for months… Hitler did not seize power; he was jobbed into office by a backstairs intrigue."

The Streamlined Procedures Act increases the threat of wrongful conviction:

The legislation, known as the Streamlined Procedures Act, would effectively kill the writ of habeas corpus by stripping federal courts of jurisdiction to consider cases in which a prisoner's constitutional rights may have been violated. The legislation would apply to all criminal cases, including capital cases. The legislation is sponsored by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) in the Senate and Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) in the House.

The impact is broad and pernicious:

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled its second hearing on the bill for Wednesday, November 16th, at 9:30am. A contentious hearing on the legislation took place on July 13 featuring witnesses including former US Solicitor General Seth Waxman, innocence expert Barry Scheck and death penalty attorney and law professor Bryan A. Stevenson arguing that the bill would increase the likelihood of innocent people being executed. The witnesses also noted how the legislation undermines recent bipartisan action by Congress to address inaccuracy in the criminal justice system, through the Innocence Protection Act, and conflicts with the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.

The anticipated Democratic response: No habeus for them, no habeus for us, no problem.

Posted by Gary Boatwright at November 15, 2005 7:50 PM

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