Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Support Habeas Corpus Restoration Act

The Senate, last week, took an important step toward restoring a fundamental constitutional protection: the right to challenge one's detention by the government in a court of law.

On an 11-8 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act, a bipartisan bill authored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) to restore habeas corpus rights.

The bill now moves to the full Senate, where it may be voted on this month.

President Bush, with the aid of the Republican-controlled Congress, stole habeas corpus rights with the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 without much debate or hearings.

Law Professor Marjorie Cohn told Political Affairs in an interview that: "What the Military Commissions Act of 2006 also does is strip away habeas corpus rights from all non-citizens, and that includes people who are lawful permanent residents.... Habeas corpus is a very important tool that someone who is being incarcerated or confined can use to go to court and have a judge determine whether he or she is being mistakenly held. What it means to lose habeas corpus is that thousands of prisoners in US custody around the world can be detained for the rest of their lives and will never be able to go to court."

Urge your Senators to support the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act.

No comments: