Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Habeus Corpus Passes in the Senate, but not the Filibuster

It becomes more embarrassing by the day to wonder what America has become and continuing to become, or watch as it devolves into a dictatorship with the approval of Congress. The Senate rejected a bill today trying to restore Habeas Corpus - that would have given military detainees the right to protest their detention in federal court.

Senator Patrick Leahy said of the failed attempt:

"The truth is that casting aside the time-honored protection of habeas corpus makes us more vulnerable as a nation because it leads us away from our core American values," Leahy said. "It calls into question our historic roll as a defender of human rights around the world."

In 2006 Congress passed and Bush signed (gleefully) the Military Commissions Act, which established a military-run tribunal system for prosecuting enemy combatants. The provision barring habeas corpus petitions means that only detainees selected for trial are able to confront charges against them, leaving most military detainees in custody without a chance to plead their case.

The majority of Congress voted to restore habeas corpus, which means "you have the body" prisoners often seek release by filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. A writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate to a prison official ordering that an inmate be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he should be released from custody.

The measure passed 56 - 43, but fell four votes short of 60 votes needed to end debate. No democrats voted against it, but Joe Lieberman did, that soul sucking wannabe Republican. Any centrist Democrats want to discuss why anyone in their right mind was supporting Ned Lamont last November? Would anyone like to have that debate now? And Susan Collins of Maine also voted against it, the centrist Republican who will be in the political fight of her life next November. The full roll call is here.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty, nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin-

The Webb Amendment failed by the same margin 56-44.

1 comment:

Devin said...

It seems like a funny time that Ross Perot should be auctioning off his copy of the magna carte (the only privately owned copy in the world) at the same time that neo-con distaste for civil liberties has all but rendered it worthless. Bad move Ross. I guess he should have sold his copy of civil liberties when they still meant something. lol.