Sunday, January 21, 2007

Did he just say that?

It is always good to know that those in power respect the law that governs the land. When not advocating the rescission of personal liberties, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has taking to ignoring the right to petition the government. To be clear, the only mention of the right of Habeas Corpus comes from Article I, sec. 9, cl. 2 of the Constitution. However, the Supreme Court has interpreted the Constitution to include the right to file a habeas petition by inference from the prohibition against its suspension and the text of the First Amendment that protects the right of the people to petition the government. Moreover, there is no way that Hamdi and its progeny deals with the so-called statutory right to habeas since the basis for the application of the right came from the due process clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. The "statutory right" could come from two places: Habeas Corpus Act of 1679, and 28 U.S.C. 2241. The catch here is the former is incorporated into the American legal tradition through its assimilation of English common law. By the very nature of the drafting of the Constitution and the formation of the neophyte American government, habeas corpus existed as an innate legal right. I would love it if the leaders of this country would start to take the time to learn the law.

No comments: