Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Senate Refuses to Restore Habeas Corpus

The vote in the Senate on September 19, 2007, derailed an effort to restore the right of habeas corpus made clear that a near-majority of Senators, primarily Republicans, either do not understand the principle of habeas corpus, or are still gripped by the irrational fear that pervades our country since 9-11. The Senate is on record once again supporting the unbridled power of a President to declare any individual he wants as an “enemy combatant” and then detain that person indefinitely without even being able to go before a judge to have the government show it has at least some rational basis to hold the person in prison. I think this abdication of power to a President by Congress is unfortunate and extremely dangerous. This is a move the Republicans in the Senate will come to regret, if for no other reason than because future presidents, including those of the Democratic Party who the Republicans would not likely support, would be able to exercise this awesome power.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Craig Transcript Proves a Frail Case

The unfolding case involving the arrest of Idaho Senator Larry Craig at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport this summer as part of an apparent police sting operation against lewd behavior in men’s rooms, raises questions about our criminal justice system and how the police operate, that are deeply troubling and which ought to concern us all. It is clear that nothing Senator Craig did constituted criminal behavior, especially when the transcript (linked below) is reviewed. The blatant -- but temporarily successful -- effort to pressure Senator Craig into a preemptive plea by the arresting officer, and the unwise decision by the Senator to try to explain himself to the officer without the presence of legal counsel, also underscore the utter shallowness of the case against Senator Craig.

Link to the Transcript: