Oh no he didn’t

In a stunning interpretation of the Constitution, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales claimed that there is no express right to habeas corpus in the Constitution during his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. From Think Progress (which also has a partial transcript):

Gonzales was debating Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) about whether the Supreme Court’s ruling on Guantanamo detainees last year cited the constitutional right to habeas corpus. Gonzales claimed the Court did not cite such a right, then added, “There is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution.”

Specter pushed back. “Wait a minute. The constitution says you can’t take it away, except in the case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn’t that mean you have the right of habeas corpus, unless there is an invasion or rebellion?” Specter told Gonzales, “You may be treading on your interdiction and violating common sense, Mr. Attorney General.”

And this guy was considered by some to be a potential US Supreme Court justice?

Almost makes you miss John Ashcroft. (I said almost.)

Sara in Philly

3 thoughts on “Oh no he didn’t

  1. Perhaps Mr. Gonzalez should take a trip to Runnymede to contemplate where his own civil rights come from…or he could just try reading the Magna Carta.

  2. This is like the head of the NSA telling Congress that he, and his organization, take the Constitution very seriously and have it memorized, and then turn around and saying that the standard of probable cause is not established in the Constitution.

    “Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

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