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