Monday, September 17, 2007

A Gift to the Constitution

*Editor's Note: This piece is cross-posted at dailyKos and Red State Rebels.

Today marks the 220th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution being adopted in its original form with the signing at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

This particular Constitution Day, we not only celebrate the beauty and brilliance of what is believed to be the oldest democratic governing document, but we also celebrate the departure of one of its greatest foes--Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

As was announced in August, today, September 17, 2007, Alberto Gonzales will officially leave his post at the Justice Department, marking an end to a reign noted for the unconstitutional.

You may remember in January before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Gonzales stated: "There is no expressed grant of habeas corpus [in the Constitution]; there's a prohibition against taking it away."

After being questioned by a dumbfounded Senator Arlen Specter, Gonzales went on to clarify:

"The Constitution doesn't say every individual in the United States or citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn't say that. It simply says that the right shall not be suspended 'except in cases of rebellion or invasion.'"

To this baffling argument Specter responded: "You may be treading on your interdiction of violating common sense."

If you read Article I, Section IX of the U.S. Constitution it in fact refers to habeas corpus as a "privilege" and a privilege that "shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion" at which time "public safety may require it."

Certainly the NSA warantless surveillance of Americans does not constitute an issue of public safety and certainly our civil liberties have been threatened as President Bush and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have carried out this program.

Today is without question a great day for the United States Constitution. The departure of Gonzales is not only fitting for this day, it is a gift to our 220 year-old Constitution.

1 comment:

Nick Speth said...

Wow Tara, that's big time!

As to your article, I'll comment on it later. I agree with you though. Nice work.