Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Liberty and security can be reconciled"

Good news. The Supreme Court has finally begun to undo the Bush administration's attack on the constitution. In what SCOTUSblog writer Lyle Denniston calls a "stunning blow to the Bush Administration in its war-on-terrorism policies," the court found that foreign nationals can make habeas challenges to their detention. I especially like this bit, from the conclusion of the court's decision (pdf link):
The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times. Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the framework of the law. The Framers decided that habeas corpus, a right of first importance, must be a part of that framework, a part of that law.
Sadly, it was another 5-4 decision, with the usual assholes disagreeing, despite the majority pointing out quite rightly that "protection for the habeas privilege was one of the few safeguards of liberty specified in a Constitution that, at the outset, had no Bill of Rights." In other words, it doesn't get anymore Constitutional than that.


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