Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Habeas Corpus Suspended

I wanted to belatedly acknowledge a federal court's acquiescence in Congress's and George II's effective suspension of habeas corpus for noncitizens under the Military Commissions Act. The story is here. The Constitution (for what it's worth) says habeas corpus can be suspended by Congress (not the president) only during an invasion or rebellion. I don't recall either having happened. But that didn't stop the anti-freedom conspirators in Washington from pulling off the feat. There is now probably nothing to stop George II from consigning noncitizens to life imprisonment for any reason whatever, since the courts have been denied jurisdiction over such matters. The Supreme Court will undoubtedly have something to say about this -- but I wouldn't expect it to be anything good.


Sudha Shenoy said...

Sheldon: The Military Commissions Act & the judicial decision in effect declare that _everyone_ other than US citizens/residents, are untermenschen. The appropriate US govt official can deem them 'terrorists' or whatever & then lock them up indefinitely without trial. How many Americans would find this objectionable? What are non-Americans to think?

Sheldon Richman said...

Agreed--despite the fact the Constitution makes no distinction between citizens and noncitizens. And citizens shouldn't be too comfortable. If Congress can suspend habeas corpus in this de facto way by removing judicial jurisdiction in the case of noncitizens, why can't it do so for citizens too? We have a run-amok executive and a kowtowing legislature and judiciary. Sounds like the "elective despotism" Jefferson warned of.

Antifederalists, you stand vindicated in spades!