The Constitution’s Body Isn’t Even Cold Yet…

3 comments October 20th, 2006at 12:06pm Posted by Eli

Habeas Constitution corpus…

Moving quickly to implement the bill signed by President Bush this week that authorizes military trials of enemy combatants, the administration has formally notified the U.S. District Court here that it no longer has jurisdiction to consider hundreds of habeas corpus petitions filed by inmates at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

In a notice dated Wednesday, the Justice Department listed 196 pending habeas cases, some of which cover groups of detainees. The new Military Commissions Act (MCA), it said, provides that “no court, justice, or judge” can consider those petitions or other actions related to treatment or imprisonment filed by anyone designated as an enemy combatant, now or in the future.


Habeas corpus, a Latin term meaning “you have the body,” is one of the oldest principles of English and American law. It requires the government to show a legal basis for holding a prisoner. A series of unresolved federal court cases brought against the administration over the last several years by lawyers representing the detainees had left the question in limbo.

Two years ago, in Rasul v. Bush, which gave Guantanamo detainees the right to challenge their detention before a U.S. court, and in this year’s Hamdan v. Rumsfeld , the Supreme Court appeared to settle the issue in favor of the detainees. But the new legislation approved by Congress last month, which gives Bush the authority to try detainees before military commissions, included a provision removing judicial review for all habeas claims.


A number of legal scholars and members of Congress, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), have said that the habeas provision of the new law violates a clause of the Constitution that says the right to challenge detention “shall not be suspended” except in cases of “rebellion or invasion.” Historically, the Constitution has been interpreted to apply equally to citizens and noncitizens under U.S. jurisdiction.

Riiight. Arlen is so concerned about the Constitution that he happily voted for the very law that he’s complaining about. This is what the damn thing was for. Well, this and torture; but as long as the president doesn’t call it torture, it’s totally okay.

“We and other habeas counsel are going to vigorously oppose dismissal of these cases,” Warren said. “We are going to challenge that law as violating the Constitution on several grounds.” Whichever side loses in the upcoming court battles, he said, will then appeal to the Supreme Court.

And that is what Roberts and Alito are for.

The fate of our democracy rests in the hands of Anthony Kennedy and Tony Scalia. God help us all.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Politics,Republicans,Specter,Wankers


  • 1. spocko  |  October 20th, 2006 at 6:14 pm

    Well gee when you put it like that, it sounds bad. We really shouldn’t worry about it. Just like the whole listening to our conversations thing. If you aren’t doing anything wrong, you don’t have to worry about anything.
    You haven’t done anything wrong, have you Eli?

    I wouldn’t want to have to anonymously report you to the authorities. Of course you couldn’t see the evidence against you that I created. And you couldn’t tell anyone about it so you are pretty much screwed. So I guess that you should just not piss me off.

    That is what I want to say to people, but they won’t believe it.
    It just doesn’t seem to effect them.

    I suppose it would require THEM or someone they absolutely know is not-guilty to be picked up. And even then if the evidence is put together strongly enough..

    I outlined how it could be done one time. It kind of scared me how easy it was. Of course now that I’ve put it on my blog I can’t do it.

    I wonder what it would take for people to believe just how bad this is. Would it convince them if they saw it used against people like the Quakers? Nah.

    What kind of evidence event would be bad enough to help people understand just how terrible this decision is?

  • 2. Eli  |  October 20th, 2006 at 6:26 pm

    What’s to outline? Preznit Infallible just has to say that you’re aiding and abetting the terrorists with your seditious liberal blog, and the next thing you know you’ve got a sack on your head and electrodes on your sack.

  • 3. spocko  |  October 20th, 2006 at 10:18 pm

    oh btw, Eli the most wonderful Intrabang suggested I sounded a bit too unsatrical. Sorry. You know of course I would never rat you out. I do need more sleep I just reread my post and I sounded like I was directing the first half of that at you.

    And you are 100 percent correct. All the president has to do is say, ‘He’s a bad seed and boom! You are gone.

    If you disappear I’ll fight to get you back. Be sure to give the mysterious Code name V your password and email list so she can inform us if you end up in Gitmo.

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