Habeas Corpus is one of a variety of writs that may be issued to bring a party before a court or judge, having as its function "the release of the party from unlawful restraint." Article 14 of the Bill of Rights states, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the US... No state shall make or enforce any law, which abridge the privileges of citizens nor deprive any citizen of life, liberty or property, without due process of law." Articles 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 all guarantee that a US "citizen" will get a just and fair trial. With the passage of the Patriot Act these articles of the Constitution's Bill of Rights were destroyed.
I recently visited with a high-ranking Republican and asked him about the Patriot Act. His comment was, "don't you want to fight terrorism?" We have fought one Civil War, two World Wars and a host of police actions and we did so without overhauling the constitution. The Patriot Act allows a bypass around the Bill of Rights, which I consider a sacred document that has given this nation's people freedom for the past 200 plus years and it needs to be left intact. The Bush administration is using this unconstitutional bill to hold a US "citizen" without due process. Jose Padilla is a US "citizen" and has been held as a political prisoner, without being charged with a crime for over two years. He has never been allowed to speak to his legal council. Padilla was arrested by federal agents at O'Hare Airport and held on a material witness warrant. He was to get a hearing in federal court but two days prior to that hearing Bush declared him an "enemy combatant" and he hasn't seen daylight since May of 2002.
Now this fellow is not being jailed because he sang too loud in Sunday school. He has done penitentiary time and also has ties to Al Qaedoa. I'm not suggesting that he is innocent and should be released. The point is, he was born in Chicago and is a US "citizen" and should be protected by the rights due him under the US Constitution. He is being held as an enemy combatant and the Patriot Act gives federal agents the power to hold an enemy combatant if that person is a SUSPECTED terrorist. Ted Lang (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes, "Why have his constitutional rights been suspended? Why isn't he being charged with a crime? Why can't he see his lawyer, or talk to a member of his family? What about Miranda? What about that one phone call?"
Gene Healy (senior editor at the Cato Institute) informs us: The government justifies its confinement of Padila by citing a declaration by Michael Mobbs, an obscure Pentagon bureaucrat, who stated, "Some information provided by the sources remains uncorroborated and may be part of an effort to mislead or confuse US officials." Healy goes on to say; "the government's brief relies heavily on the president's constitutional powers as Commander-in-Chief of the US military. But as Justice Jackson put it in a 1952 case delineating the president's wartime authority, the Constitution did not contemplate that the title Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy will constitute him also Commander-in-Chief of the country, its industries and its inhabitants."
On June 11, 2002, Padilla's attorney, Dona Newman filed a petition for habeas relief as (next-of-friend) in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York. On December 18, 2003, a three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the case agreeing that the government did not have the authority to arrest and detain Padilla as an enemy combatant, without charge or access to council. Citing legislation passed by Congress in 1971, which expressly prohibits the detention of US citizens the court reversed the decision and ordered the government to release Padilla within 30 days. All three judges agreed that Padilla has a right to counsel and to challenge his classification in court. The Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments in Padilla v. Rumsfield April 28.
On June 28 the US Supreme Court ruled that terror suspects can use the American judicial system to challenge their confinement, when it stated, "an American terror suspect held in his nation is entitled to a chance to contest the government's decision." Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said, "Constitutional due process rights demand that a citizen held in the United States as an enemy combatant must be given a meaningful opportunity to contest the detention before a neutral party. History and commonsense teach us that an unchecked system of detention carries the potential to become a means for oppression and abuse of others." HOWEVER, the court decided that because Jose Padilla is located in a Navy Brig in South Carolina he should have challenged in a South Carolina court - not New York. The high court does allow him to bring up his case again.
It appears that the court has placed limits on the Patriot Act.
© 2004 Derry Brownfield - All Rights Reserved
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Derry Brownfield was born in 1932 and grew up during the depression. He is a farmer and a broadcaster. Derry attended the College of Agriculture at the University of Missouri where he received his B.S. and M.S. degrees. He taught Vocational Agriculture several years before going to work as a Marketing Specialist with the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Derry served as Director of the Kansas City Livestock Market Foundation at the Kansas City Stockyard prior to establishing himself in farm broadcasting.
Derry started farming when he was 16 years old and received the Future Farmers of America State Farmer degree in 1949. Since that time the Brownfield Farm has grown to over 1000 acres maintaining a herd of 200 registered Charolias cows.
In 1972, Derry and his partner established the Brownfield Network which now serves 250 radio stations throughout the Midwest with news and market information. In 1994, Derry started his own syndicated radio talk show and he is one of the most popular radio talk show hosts in America. The Derry Brownfield Show can be heard on approximately 80 radio stations in 23 states. With his entertaining sense of humor and witty commentary he has captured audiences for over 30 years. His ability to present an informative talk show while being light and colorful is why he has a large loyal listening audience.
Derry Brownfield is a practical farmer, a practical
business man and a very entertaining speaker. He travels extensively throughout
the country speaking about his common-sense point of view. Web Site: www.derrybrownfield.com