Restoring Rights: Rep. Ron Paul Introduces Legislation to Protect Basic Rights like Habeas Corpus, to Prohibit Torture, and to Ban Arbitrary Kidnapping and Imprisonment by the Executive Branch

By McManus, John F. | The New American, November 12, 2007 | Go to article overview

Restoring Rights: Rep. Ron Paul Introduces Legislation to Protect Basic Rights like Habeas Corpus, to Prohibit Torture, and to Ban Arbitrary Kidnapping and Imprisonment by the Executive Branch


McManus, John F., The New American


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

If leading spokespersons of both the right and the left in America enthusiastically back passage of any piece of legislation, there should be headlines in the various elements of the mass media. Anything attracting that kind of bipartisan support must certainly be dramatically important--so weighty that all conscious Americans ought to examine it. Claiming to be among the "conscious," we hereby provide a serious look at H.R. 3835, the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007. It was introduced in the House of Representatives by Texas Republican Ron Paul on October 15, 2007.

If enacted, H.R. 3835 would:

* repeal the 2006 Military Commissions Act that denies habeas corpus (the right to face criminal accusations in a court of law);

* ban confessions gained through torture or coercion;

* insist on adherence to the provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to gain intelligence;

* challenge the president's practice of disregarding portions of laws with presidential "signing statements";

* ban torture and arbitrary kidnapping or imprisonment;

* protect journalists who receive information from the executive branch from prosecution for airing it "unless the publication would cause direct, immediate, and irreparable harm" to our national security; and

* put a stop to any use of secret evidence against any individual or organization.

In short, the act would cancel numerous executive branch attacks on the types of civil liberties that have uniquely marked our nation.

H.R. 3835 has earned support across our nation's political spectrum because the abuses addressed or alluded to in it have indeed been committed. If this type of extra-constitutional activity isn't stopped, and if the reigning powers in the executive branch aren't required to submit to traditional restraints, the United States could be transformed into a police state. Both aliens and U.S. citizens could find themselves targeted with no appeal to the rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights.

The Military Commissions Act (MCA), one of H.R. 3835's chief targets, became law late in 2006 after House approval by 250-170 followed a 65-34 vote in the Senate. President Bush eagerly signed it after having insisted it was necessary "as part of making sure that we do have the capacity to protect you," meaning the American people. He also said it was needed "to insure that those questioning terrorists can continue to do everything within the law to get information that can save American lives."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In what is surely its most fundamental--though far from its only --undermining of rights, MCA grants power to the president to suspend habeas corpus. Traceable to its inclusion in the Magna Carta of 1215 and frequently termed "The Great Writ," habeas corpus literally means "you have the body." It is a legal protection that allows any person to seek relief from unlawful detention of either himself or another. It is as basic a right as can be imagined. Using it prevents arbitrary and lawless action such as incarceration without any reason being given and denial of legal assistance if apprehended. And it applies not only to the citizens of this nation but to all persons dealt with by U.S. authorities.

The Founding Fathers understood the importance of habeas corpus. Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution states, "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it." Our nation is not in rebellion and the kind of invasion envisioned by the men who wrote the Constitution has not occurred. Hence, there is no justification for suspending the privilege.

In its attack on habeas corpus, MCA states that "no court, justice or judge shall have jurisdiction to consider any claim or case of action, including an application for a writ of habeas corpus . …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Restoring Rights: Rep. Ron Paul Introduces Legislation to Protect Basic Rights like Habeas Corpus, to Prohibit Torture, and to Ban Arbitrary Kidnapping and Imprisonment by the Executive Branch
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.