November 14, 2005
-- by Gary Boatwright
Not a peep from the Democrats and it looks like there could be a vote as early as tomorrow attaching restrictions on habeus corpus to an appropriations bill. Obsidian Wings has done the heavy lifting with 13 posts on the Graham/Bingaman Amendment.
Summary by Kevin Drum:
Eliminating habeas corpus is a disgrace. It's a statement that our courts are not to be trusted, that people should be judged guilty solely on Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush's say so, and that the United States cannot survive unless its most important principles are tossed in the ash heap.
For more, go read Katherine and Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings. There's a lot there, but you might start with this one and this one, just to get an idea of Lindsey Graham's duplicitousness on this whole matter. He should be ashamed.
More analysis by Digby Back Room Benedict Arnolds.
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I had on C-Span this afternoon. A compromise has been reached that seems to satisfy the Dems. I'm a little unclear on the details, not being a constitutional scholar, but it seems the court-stripping aspect has been removed, the detainees are granted an annual review and actual court access, but not for just anything -- Graham's big issue -- detainees suing over a host of issues.
I'll have to wait until someone better qualified weighs in, but there definitely was a peep, late afternoon. Graham seemed relieved that he wouldn't be embarassed on the issue, full of praise for the Dem compromise.
Also, Kerry gave quite a forceful speech about Bush's continued lying about prewar intelligence.
Lastly, substantive work on holding the administration to account, working out an exit strategy and legislating regular updates on progress in phasing out our troop presence. Republicans are definitely trying to play games, but it looks like Dems are leading the Republicans to work out an actual plan.
Posted by: Dr. Laniac at November 14, 2005 10:01 PM
I don't see the point in getting upset over this little bill. It seems to me that it would get slapped down in about 2 seconds in any court of law. The US Constitution, Section 9 Clause 2 says "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." This is right up there with Constitutional fundamentals like No Taxation Without Representation. Even the most fringe right-wing loonie Strict Constructionist can't wriggle out of declaring Graham/Bingaman unconsitutional. We may be in an eternal war, but there is no invasion or rebellion.
Posted by: Charles at November 14, 2005 11:08 PM
Charles. Words on paper. If we undermine them by policy and legislation, they become merely words on paper and nothing more. Do you really want to have to sue your way to the Supreme Court to win back the right to habeas corpus? And given the courts today, are you sure you'd win?
Posted by: Dr. Laniac at November 15, 2005 5:54 AM
Perhaps you're missing the point. A law is trumped by the Constitution. You can't override provisions in the Constitution with a mere bill, you can only override it with a Constitutional Amendment. You don't have to go through SCOTUS to restore your rights, they are immutable, you always have them, although you might need SCOTUS to get the other branches of government to recognize that fact.
Posted by: Charles at November 15, 2005 4:20 PM
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