Friday, June 13, 2008

q&a about detention

Question: How often does the Supreme Court (and other courts) have to tell the de facto Bush Administration that it can't just lock up people and throw away the key?

Answer: It doesn't matter how often, because the Bush regime will continue to hold people without due process anyway.

I like Eugene Robinson's para on this: It shouldn't be necessary for the Supreme Court to tell the president that he can't have people taken into custody, spirited to a remote prison camp and held indefinitely, with no legal right to argue that they've been unjustly imprisoned -- not even on grounds of mistaken identity. But the president in question is, sigh, George W. Bush, who has taken a chainsaw to the rule of law with the same manic gusto he displays while clearing brush at his Texas ranch.

No doubt the Bushies will draft more legislation describing some sort of extra-constitutional legal provision, will scare Congress witless by telling them if they don't pass it, Americans will die any minute. And Congress will swallow hard, look at their feet, and maybe let it pass - one last slice from the fabric of the Constitution.

I hope they resist. Because as Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion, "The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times."

The laws and Constitution, our dedication to due process and the rule of law not of men, is what makes America great. We should not allow it to be sullied. It is to our collective shame that we have let Bush do all that he has to the law (and not just related to terrorism).

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