restoring habeas corpus in america

Senator Patrick Leahy kicked ass the other day in his questioning of former White House political director Sara Taylor, and, in honor of that, I thought I’d pass along this note from him on Habeas Corpus.

…In a matter of days, one of our nation’s most fundamental liberties is up for a vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate. That’s why I need your help, one more time, to ensure the Senate’s support for my Habeas Corpus Restoration Act as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill this week.

Last month, your efforts — and those of thousands of other concerned citizens — made all the difference. Your flood of emails and phone calls convinced the Senate Judiciary Committee to approve this important piece of legislation on a narrow 11-8 vote.

Now we must win the support of entire U.S. Senate. To you and me, habeas corpus — the right to challenge one’s detention by the government in a court of law — may seem like a clear-cut Constitutional guarantee, but many of my colleagues are still on the fence. A Republican filibuster is a very real possibility, which is why I need your help.

Help me avert a potential filibuster against this crucial legislation: Tell your home-state Senators to support the Habeas Corpus Restoration Amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill.

After all, it was less than a year ago — just before the 2006 midterm elections — that a rubber-stamp Congress passed the Military Commissions Act and gave the Bush Administration a green light to detain lawful permanent residents indefinitely. The Habeas Corpus Restoration Amendment will reverse the damage done to our civil liberties and repair a broken system for holding and prosecuting suspected terrorists…

Leahy needs the support of at least 60 Senators to make it “filibuster-proof”. So, if you’ve got a minute, follow that last link and send a note to your Senators. Every letter is going to count, and there isn’t anything more frundamental to our democracy than the freedom from being thrown illegally into prison without recourse.

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  1. mark
    Posted July 17, 2007 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    See also: Find Habeas

  2. Tator
    Posted July 18, 2007 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Leahy’s smackdown of Taylor was a beautiful thing to watch. It got a mention in the Bill Moyers video you linked to yesterday. This whole idea that people in this administration think that they “swear an oath to the President” instead of to the constitution is just absurd.

  3. edweird
    Posted July 18, 2007 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    No shit. Weren’t they paying attention as the words came out of their mouths?


  4. Ol' E Cross
    Posted July 18, 2007 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    The problem is that “habeas corpus” is latin or something and sounds like “heinous corpses” and who wants to protect the rights of an evil zombie?

    Until folks start thinking that they may be intruded upon they won’t give much damn.
    At the end of the day, hyper-individualism worries more about protecting my right (to happiness) than human rights (to life).

  5. Robert
    Posted July 19, 2007 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    This is not a drill.

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