Monday, November 14, 2005

Preserving Habeas Corpus

By Cassandra D

Yikes. A legal scholar I certainly am not. But there is an issue of great importance floating around the Senate today. Last week Senator Lindsey Graham's bill S. 1042 was passed, which would take away the right to petition for a writ of habeas corpus from the Guantanamo detainees. In other words, at least as far as I understand it, they could be held indefinitely without a right to challenge their status in court.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman will introduce an amendment (S. 2517) to Graham's bill that would, apparently, take the habeas corpus part out of the bill, while leaving intact other measures. The amendment will likely be introduced for a vote today.

As I said, my understanding of all this is limited, but enough to raise alarm bells. There are fourteen (14!) blog entries on this over at Obsidian Wings, with a handy post linking to all of them. There is also a link to the Senate directory, so you can call your senator.

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**UPDATE**

Here's a case report from Guantanamo to illustrate why this is so important.

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"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

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