Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Our Brother's Keeper (even if the brother is Not A Nice Person)

From Aziz Huq writing for NYU's Brennan Center for Justice: Can a U.S. citizen be locked up for three-plus years without access to a court or opportunity to challenge the government’s reasons for detention? Today, the answer in America is a provisional “yes.” And last week the government took one important step toward cementing this “yes” into a permanent power. You know the case: Padilla. A small-time thug now held essentially incommunido for almost four years without very much of what is called due process. What's interesting about Huq's article is that he thinks the right-wingers in the judicial system has been stalling off making any major decisions in order to find the perfect moment in which to make presidential power absolute. Rehnquist explained that one of the government’s pivotal mistakes was to make an aggressive case for unchecked presidential power in a lawsuit in the public eye, inciting judicial opposition and public ire....The same is true now. Indefinite detention is also at issue in a set of less noticed cases. Several legislative proposals for comprehensive immigration reform include provisions that permit indefinite detention of certain non-citizens. To be sure, there is limited judicial review, but often so curtailed as to be functionally meaningless. As David Cole persuasively argues, this is a wedge’s thin end, opening up the possibility that unlimited detention for a broader category of residents and citizens may be permissible under statutory and constitutional law. The next time the government argues for indefinite detention power, no one may be paying attention. And no one may even notice when the Court approves that power. His advice: keep the issue of denial of due process or unjust detention of anyone hot and debated. As with the classic Niemoller quote, the next time, the person needing concern may be you.
This country is on the road to "1984". Nice blog, I'll be back to read more.
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