Update: Republicans Say No to Habeas Return

Senate Republicans this morning helped defeat an effort to restore vital habeas corpus protections to so-called "enemy combatants" and resident aliens. The attempt to amend last year's Military Commissions Act needed 60 votes in the Senate; it received 56. The only Republicans to vote in favor of re-establishing the right to seek redress in federal court were: Arlen Specter (Pa.), Chuck Hagel (Neb.), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Gordon Smith (Ore.), Dick Lugar (Ind.) and John Sununu (N.H.). Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who is officially independent though he caucuses with the Democrats, voted with the remaining Republicans to block the measure.

I'll post more later on this important development.

By Andrew Cohen |  September 19, 2007; 11:19 AM ET
Previous: Get It Right This Time on Habeas Rules | Next: Congress Again Takes the Low Road


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Let me just point out that the Founding Fathers thought the right of habeas corpus was so important that they put it in the text of the Constitution itself. It was not added by Amendment.

Why do the Senate Republicans hate freedom?

Posted by: Nellie | September 19, 2007 03:05 PM

A real opposition party would have held a coup d'etat by now.

Posted by: Singing Senator | September 19, 2007 03:14 PM

The next President should declare one of these guys an enemy combatant and throw him in jail. Let him make phone calls to his friends. Maybe they'll rethink this whole issue.

Posted by: Clay | September 20, 2007 01:58 PM

Now that George Bush has torn up the fundamental right of a people to a trial he has also abandoned the notion that the State cannot arrest people that it does not like. He also has set a precedent for holding people classified as 'dangerous suspects' without a trial.

He has torn the fabric of the Constitution. His supporters have supported him. No longer can anyone regard these rights as entrenched. An abused Constitution, and the principles that it enshrines, cannot be restored with stickytape. Busg has set a dangerous precedent and you can be sure that in the future another will follow him by suspending Constitutional rights.

Everything that Bush has touched has been tainted. Why shouldn't he go on trial for the illegal war in Iraq? Hundreds of thousands have lost their lives. Millions have become refugees and have fled Iraq. Others have lost their limbs, loved ones and their minds so that they will never have peace of mind again.

Maybe the US wants its Presidents to be exempted from responsibility.

The evidence is there. If he does not go on trial then another precedent is set and that is that a killer and a President who has acted illegally should be exempted from a trial. If this happens than it will be another tear in the Constitution.

If there is evidence that Bush has committed offences then he should be charged and tried. If it was good enough for Saddam HUssein to be tried then why not Bush. If he has a good defence then he will be acquitted. Somehow I cannot see Bush limiting himself to the constraints imposed on Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Posted by: Robert James | September 20, 2007 04:57 PM

Let's just go back to the Napoleonic Code. You wouldn't have been arrested if you hadn't done something wrong. Prove that you're innocent. And, by the way, accusing the Police or the Army of false arrest is against the law because it shows disrespect for the Police/Army. It's like the old Firesign Theatre skit..."If you don't answer our questions, we'll have to gag you!"..."What questions??"....."Gag him!". Laughing yet?
Wake up America.

Posted by: thebob.bob | September 21, 2007 01:33 PM

Take down the names of those who voted against this. Draw a red circle around Liebermann's name.

Knit the names into the wool, and remember them for '09.

Posted by: Chris Fox | September 21, 2007 03:18 PM

That's how I feel, Singing Senator.

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