The Freeman's Burden:

To defend the principles of human liberty; to educate; to be vigilant against the ever expanding power of the state.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Constitutional Betrayal

The Washington Post reports that the Fourth Court of Appeals has ruled it is legitimate to waive Constitutionally guaranteed rights if the President deems an individual to be an "enemy combatant."

The amendments violated are the fifth:No person shall be... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law...and sixth:In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury...Instead, by Presidential decree, you may be imprisoned indefinitely, without trial, hearing, or any publicly presented evidence. Tread carefully, friends, for the waters are no longer safe as they once were.

The government claims to have evidence indicting Padilla, but refuses to disclose it. To the public eye, no guilt has been proven. It was once a principle of this country that innocence was presumed until guilt was proved. Unfortunately, executive edict has replaced proof as the factor determining one's fate. Although it is likely that the administration is not lying about Padilla, this is a precedent which must not stand, for it represents the gravest of infractions against the Bill of Rights that George Bush swore to serve.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's not a shred of serious legal analysis in this entry, which blithely ignores the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Hamdi case, upheld the government's power to detain him as an enemy combatant. If the Court grants certiorari, I predict the result will be exactly the same with Padilla, despite the WP writer's claim that "a key difference between the two" cases was that Hamdi was captured on a battlefield in Afghanistan with forces loyal to that country's former Taliban rulers, and Padilla was arrested in the United States after having been proven, to the Fourth Circuit's satisfaction, to have "associated with al Qaeda . . . who took up arms against this Nation in its war against these enemies, and who entered the United States for the avowed purpose of further prosecuting that war by attacking American citizens." In other words, this precedent can and will stand, the concerns of the noted constitutional scholar Janet Reno notwithstanding.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Free2Smooze said...

You have recited the legal facts accurately, but managed to completely miss the point of debate. Under the philosophy of the Constitution, individuals not only have rights, but have rights by nature. Our rights are granted by God, not by man and therefore cannot be taken away by man. Governments do not have rights, only privileges granted to it by the governed. Whenever government asserts that it has a right or attempts to deny a right to a citizen, it is acting contrary to the nature of the system and the governing philosophy of the nation. The fact that any court would rule in support of denying an individual his Constitutionally guaranteed rights does not, in any way, legitimize that act. Furthermore, as we have seen with the confirmation hearings of Judge Roberts, precedent is a fundamental legal concept. Rulings that lay the underpinning for future rulings that can expand government’s power to deny rights to individuals threaten not only today’s "evil doers" but tomorrow's citizens as well.

10:56 AM  

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