Congress v. Constitution, chapter 942

[11:09] Wade: I love it when Congress acts unconstitutionally
[11:09] Joe: ?

In a 49-42 vote, senators added the provision by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to a sweeping defense policy bill. Under the provision, Guantanamo Bay detainees would be allowed to appeal their status as an “enemy combatant” one time, to the Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. But they would not be able to file petitions known as writs of habeas corpus, which are used to fight unlawful detentions, in that or any other U.S. court.

For 200 years, ladies and gentlemen, in the law of armed conflict, no nation has given an enemy combatant, a terrorist, an al-Qaida member the ability to go into every federal court in this United States and sue the people that are fighting the war for us,” Graham told his colleagues. (AP report)

[11:11] Joe: hmmm

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it. (U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 9, Clause 2)

[11:11] Joe: well, this is a "case of invasion," I guess
[11:12] Joe: not an invasion of us, but still . . .
[11:13] Wade: If Asahi Metal could be heard by the courts, I think the habeas motions for "unlawful enemy combatants" are definitely worthy of the federal courts

Now, the Supreme Court already said that enemy combatants can file habeas motions, and only Clarence Thomas dissented from the notion that enemy combatants get due process protection. Even with that fact aside, Graham’s quote makes no sense whatsoever. Its lack of logic is matched only by its lack of factual basis.

Though I’m no fan of terrorists, lawyers in the Senate should know better than this. You don’t mess with the Constitution, especially when the Supreme Court has just told you not to. Want to get rid of habeas corpus? Vote on a constitutional amendment. Call it the “Deprivation of Rights Amendment.” That’ll go over real well.

One thought on “Congress v. Constitution, chapter 942”

  1. That’s why we have three branches. The legislature passes unconsitutional laws, the President rubber stamps them, the Supreme Court strikes them down, and the president tries to restock the court with his personal assistants that don’t know the difference between a constitution and and executive order. It’s like that song from The Lion King.

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