Thursday, June 07, 2007

Habeas

From Daily Kos some good news.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act (S. 185) this morning, with no amendments and no debate, 11-8. Specter was the sole Republican supporting the legislation. The bill should head to the full floor this month.
Restoration of full Habeas Corpus should be considered one of the more important things this nation should do. While it is not an issue that, in normal times, many of us would notice on a typical day, it is fundamental to out freedoms and to the successful operation of our government. A government unrestricted by a requirement to respect Habeas Corpus is one that will eventually go the way of tyranny, and ultimately utter failure.

One of the most frustrating things to me has been the extent, even in these modern times, to which people accept that abandoning rights such as this will improve our security. This is not true, and the overwhelming experience of mankind shows that there is little reason to believe that it might be true. Officials granted the power to arbitrarily seize and imprison people will not use that power to better protect the citizenry, rather the powers inevitably are used to protect officials from their growing failure to protect the citizenry. The current policies do nothing to protect the security of the American citizen, it serves only to protect our current elected officials.

The long term health and safety of the United States of America requires that we repeal the current policy suspending Habeas Corpus. The current bill is a good step in that direction. It still faces challenge in the Senate, and, of course, from the current President. Note that Arlen Specter was the only Republican on the committee to vote yes on the bill. Nonetheless, any move to start pointing America back in the direction of her traditional values of freedom and liberty will pay back benefits in the long term.

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