Habeas Corpus - Another Purported Safeguard Ignored When Convenient
2014 02 21

By Anthony Gregory | Cop Block



We know many things about habeas corpus. We know that it goes back to the Magna Carta and that the U.S. Constitution affirmed this bulwark of Anglo-American liberty. We know that habeas prohibits jailing people without cause, and that it remained healthy throughout U.S. history, except during wartime, until George W. Bush’s 2006 Military Commissions Act. And we also know that in 2008, the Supreme Court guaranteed basic due process rights for Guantánamo’s inmates.

The trouble is that none of these things are true. Five years ago, I believed the conventional civil libertarian narrative and began writing a paper to criticize the Bush administration and its nearly unprecedented violation of this sacred right.

My research revealed that much of what I knew about habeas corpus was wrong, and that many well-intentioned people had a romanticized view of the great writ. I published my findings in my Independent Institute book The Power of Habeas Corpus in America: From the King’s Prerogative to the War on Terror, and I found that as with other idealized state functions, habeas corpus has an uneven history.

Indeed, habeas is a government power — specifically a judge’s power to summon and question a case involving detention — and judges have used it to centralize their own authority. About a century ago, legal scholar Edward Jenks controversially wrote: “the most embarrassing discovery [is that] the more one studies the ancient writs of Habeas corpus … the more clear grows the conviction, that, whatever may have been its ultimate use, the writ of Habeas corpus was originally intended not to get people out of prison, but to put them in it” [emphasis in the original]. Jenks oversimplifies, but his point certainly complicates the popular understanding.

[...]

Read the full article at: copblock.com



Related Articles
Who Owns You? By Josie the Outlaw
UK Gov Just Passed a ‘Gagging Law’ to Outlaw Critics Ahead of 2015 Elections
Lobbies Switch From Influencing to Directly Writing EU Laws
The Jacobs Report - Natural Law


Latest News from our Front Page

US Silent on Psychologists Role in CIA’s Tortures: Doctors
2014-12-20 21:53
Physicians for Human Rights had not received any response from the US Federal Commission to their call to investigate the role of health professionals in CIA’s torture program, Deputy Director of the organization told Sputnik. December 19 (Sputnik) — US government has not responded to calls to prosecute doctors, who participated in CIA torture program, the Deputy Director of Communications for ...
Ziolebrities: Simon Cowell donates £100,000 to Israeli soldiers to please pregnant jewish girlfriend Lauren Silverman
2014-12-20 21:00
Cowell, 54, is also planning a secret trip to Israel soon as he embraces the Jewish faith of Silverman, 36 Gala: Billionaire Haim Saban with Cowell Simon Cowell has publicly donated nearly £100,000 in support of the Israeli army. The X Factor boss pledged the cash to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces at a US fund-raiser in Beverly Hills. The lavish gala ...
Former Chief Security Officer for NewsCorp: N. Koreans Not Behind Sony Hack, Interview Leak
2014-12-20 2:17
Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor and former chief security officer for NewsCorp/Fox studios, says North Korea isn’t behind the Sony Hack. Nigam gave several bullet points for why the hack was likely an inside job. Attack code borrowed from a previous attack on Seoul, that’s why it’s in Korean. Private hackers typically borrow malicious code from other hackers.Nations state attacks follow ...
Sony Fires Back at Obama: Actually We Did Call the White House – Several Times
2014-12-20 2:13
Sony fired back at Obama after the press conference saying they had several conversations with the Obama White House before and after the movie was canceled. Via The Hollywood Reporter: After President Obama criticized Sony for its decision to cancel The Interview's release after theater chains decided not to show the film, the studio has issued a statement elaborating on the move. “The ...
The Bankster International
2014-12-20 1:55
Geopolitical analysis, the art of explaining power relationships through the prism of impersonal geography, can be a helpful tool for observers of the Great Game – but it also has its limitations. A case in point is the renewed US-Russia confrontation. Think tanks and policy insiders easily sell the narrative that from the dark days of the Cold War to ...
More News »