Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Stand Up for the Constitution

I was not around this morning to make calls to support the Habeus Corpus Restoration Act, so I'm going to do my part by linking to and posting Christy Hardin Smith's talking points. I'm sure this is not the last time patriotic Americans will have to defend the 800-year-old right that underlies the whole of British and American law:

– The right of habeas corpus was considered so essential that the Founders wrote it into the Constitution, the only civil liberty enshrined in the Constitution itself. (More information here.)

– We cannot stand up for human rights in the rest of the world and hypocritically deny a right to a fair trial to people we are holding in US custody. When a wingnutty staffer says that would be coddling terrorists, remind them that Jose Padilla was recently tried and found guilty in a court of law, and that the United States should stand for something more than simply holding people indefinitely without charges and a review of the evidence fully by an impartial court. How would they like it if our own American soldiers were treated this way by another nation, for example, because that is exactly what this sort of conduct opens us up to in the future — and why a majority of JAG officers have opposed this course of inaction.

– We should stand up for our values. We are better than this. And it is well past time for us to stand up for liberty.

– There is substantial public support for habeas rights. Open Left has all the details on this, but a substantial majority (a solid 63 percent) of Americans support standing up for the rule of law – not the rule of fear. The Bush Administration has very little support, and the American public does not trust them to be honest on this issue. Isn’t it time that America’s politicians listened to their constitutents on this? Even the WaPo editorial staff understands that this is a huge blemish on the national image — Congress needs to right this wrong. Now.

We are better than this. We are better than jailing people in perpetuity without a determination of innocence or guilt. And we owe a debt, both to our founders and to future generations, to right this profound wrong. Please call your Senators today and tell them that we expect a vote for the Constitution and for liberty.

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