View Full Version : Habeas corpus clarified. The constitution does not give it.

24-01-2007, 13:51:32
Well now I understand.

According to sworn testimony from Alberto Gonzales (http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/gonzales-bio.html) it turns out that we don't have the right to habeas corpus.

This line in the constitution

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.

only says that it cannot be taken away.

Nowhere does it say that all Americans have it, just that it cannot be taken away. Therefore, the Bush admin has done nothing wrong, since they aren't taking away something you didn't have.

I hope someone puts a link to the testimony that was shown yesterday. That is the basis of the Bush Admin's legal defense.

In order to make the most of this story, the next few days on talk radio and fox news they will cover in depth, Clinton defining "it".

24-01-2007, 13:54:14
AH, found it.

Video here,


Text here

SPECTER: Where you have the Constitution having an explicit provision that the writ of habeas corpus cannot be suspended except for rebellion or invasion, and you have the Supreme Court saying that habeas corpus rights apply to Guantanamo detainees ó aliens in Guantanamo ó after an elaborate discussion as to why, how can the statutory taking of habeas corpus ó when thereís an express constitutional provision that it canít be suspended, and an explicit Supreme Court holding that it applies to Guantanamo alien detainees.

GONZALES: A couple things, Senator. I believe that the Supreme Court case youíre referring to dealt only with the statutory right to habeas, not the constitutional right to habeas.

SPECTER: Well, youíre not right about that. Itís plain on its face they are talking about the constitutional right to habeas corpus. They talk about habeas corpus being guaranteed by the Constitution, except in cases of an invasion or rebellion. They talk about John Runningmeade and the Magna Carta and the doctrine being imbedded in the Constitution.

GONZALES: Well, sir, the fact that they may have talked about the constitutional right to habeas doesnít mean that the decision dealt with that constitutional right to habeas.

SPECTER: When did you last read the case?

GONZALES: It has been a while, but Iíll be happy to ó I will go back and look at it.

SPECTER: I looked at it yesterday and this morning again.

GONZALES: I will go back and look at it. The fact that the Constitution ó again, there is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution. There is a prohibition against taking it away. But itís never been the case, and Iím not a Supreme ó

SPECTER: Now, wait a minute. Wait a minute. The constitution says you canít take it away, except in the case of rebellion or invasion. Doesnít that mean you have the right of habeas corpus, unless there is an invasion or rebellion?

GONZALES: I meant by that comment, the Constitution doesnít say, ďEvery individual in the United States or every citizen is hereby granted or assured the right to habeas.Ē It doesnít say that. It simply says the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except by ó

SPECTER: You may be treading on your interdiction and violating common sense, Mr. Attorney General.


24-01-2007, 14:05:30
So who died?

24-01-2007, 14:18:08
Logic. and Self-respect.

24-01-2007, 14:48:23
And what did they do with the corpse?

24-01-2007, 15:01:07
gave them to the pigs

24-01-2007, 21:58:35
I wish we'd just get the sham trial and death penalties overwith on these people already.

Lefty Scaevola
25-01-2007, 01:41:35
Technically, but irrelevantly, correct. The constituion does not give/create the right of habeas corpus , said right predates the constitution by some centuries at common law. Technically, the contituiton prohibits the executive for suspending it, and inhibits the congress from doing so, but right exists seperately from, and prior to the constituion.