The subject was the 5-4 ruling against denial of Habaeus Corpus to Guantanamo detainees.
My letter to my son, edited, follows:
I love you! And now, I understand you so much better.
You’re a strict constructionist! In legalistic terms, this is the equivalent of a religious fundamentalist, sho goes back to the word! Your word is the constitution, a document so perfect, like the bible, that even though it was written in the 18th century, what it says is the word of the judicial god, to be tampered with only by virtue of a constitutional amendment to be passed by an upper level chamber, Senators, elected two to a state, because the popular vote of the rabble can not be trusted. So a minority can elect a President, and a minority can hold up legislative progress through the mechanism of a fillibuster, enshrined in the process, sanctified by the constitution.
The rights of man are determined by the prevailing power in any jurisdiction. Who ever has the power grants the right or doesn’t grant the right. That seems to be what sovereignty is all about. Power, dominion!
Wehner: “The Court decided that for the first time in American history, non-American enemy combatants detained abroad, in the course of an ongoing war, had a constitutional right to habeas corpus (a proceeding used to review the legality of a prisoner’s confinement in criminal cases).
Start with the word “war” Who declares war under the constitution? Congress does! This is no war. This is a presidential undertaking with powers delegated by congress. It is not a war. If Bush wants it to be a war, he can propose to congress that they declare war on.... On who, John? Al Quaida? Iraq? It’s not simple. No war. No prisoners of war. No Geneva. John Yoo!
So you’re the president, and you’ve got a bunch of dangerous guys and you don’t know what to do with them. They aren’t prisoners of war, until a war is declared, and if they aren’t wearing uniforms and don’t admit they are Al Quaida, what do you with them. You bring them back to the states and put them up in a Federal Pen and give them access to public defenders, because, just maybe, one or two of them might not be guilty, or Al Quaida, and you give them access to that old treasure of common law, habaeus corpus. Or, you consult your weasels, and John Yoo and the other rodents find the cracks in the structure, and tell you that Guantanmo isn’t covered by the American constitution. So you salt them away there, out of reach of habaeus, out of reach of Geneva.... No war, no Geneva.
Torquemada convened his courts to, and they used torture, and they didn’t bother with constitutional safeguards, or precedent. Power was enough. We’re past that, John. A man has a humanistic right to freedom and not indefinite confinement without the oversight of a court that is not dominated by a military structure in which the commander in chief is a moron who doesn’t even believe in evolution! Military courts couldn’t even take Guantanamo, but if you look under enough rocks, you can find some lizard that will run the system. Bush is the sovereign, the monarch, and Guantanamo is under the rule of his army.
“More broadly, and relevant to the Kennedy opinion, English common law has never held that the writ of habeas corpus extended beyond the sovereign territory of the Crown.”
So, to what sovereign does a prisoner in Guantanamo apply his question of redress? To appeal to a military court, under a military judge, sworn to be loyal to his commander in chief? We’re back to the idiot from Texas! He put the prisoner there to begin with.
Of course, I totally disagree with Scalia. The principle is the philosophical principle that all men are entitled to know why they are being imprisoned and what is the evidence against them.
“That consequence would be tolerable if necessary to preserve a time-honored legal principle vital to our constitutional Republic.”
Yeah, well an even more fundamental human right is at stake. The same human rights that were the inspiration for the document in the 18th century. No false or arbitrary imprisonment. I don’t buy, well, if you don’t like the constitution, change it.... When did women get the right to vote? When was slavery abolished? Do we need a revolution to recognize fundamental human rights?
And then your sanctimonious lackey of Bush invokes a question regarding the moral compass of liberal justices? Ethics and Public Policy Center??? Department of Propaganda and Misinformation masquerading as Ethics? Another burner of witches! And then, of course, hide behind patriotism.
Are these really the people that you want to identify with? Can you not see the self-serving opportunistic immoral scum for what they are? Selfish, self-interested partisans, willing to lie for a greater purpose, and seeking to keep their fortunes while others are persuaded to give up their lives for freedom. And then denounce liberals. Draft the bastards to fight in their own war. Let the Republicans send their grandchildren to die in Iraq to bring democracy to the pagans!
I still love you, son. I rationalize your opinions as being so devoted to legal fundamentalism that you’re blinded by the glare. I still hold out hope for you because I don’t believe that you are a partisan of the selfishness and elitism and entitlement that characterizes the Republican Party.