This came up in conversation at a cocktail party last night. I was surprised to find a doctoral candidate in jurisprudence at Berkeley hadn't heard Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's recent repudiation of the constitutionally protected right of habeas corpus. That's neither here nor there -- what's important is what's at stake. Here is the video, in case you missed it.
As Senator Patrick Leahy pointed out in a statement last September, even conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recognizes the importance of habeas corpus.
Habeas corpus provides a remedy against arbitrary detentions and constitutional violations. It guarantees an opportunity to go to court, with the aid of a lawyer, to prove one’s innocence. As Justice Scalia stated in the Hamdi case, “The very core of liberty secured by our Anglo-Saxon system of separated powers has been freedom from indefinite imprisonment at the will of the Executive.” The remedy that secures that most basic of freedoms is habeas corpus.So where does Gonzales get his perverse interpretation of the Constitution?