Senator Patrick LeahySenator Patrick Leahy: Habeas Corpus RallySat Jun 30, 2007 18:19
Senator Patrick Leahy: Habeas Corpus Rally
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Statement Of Sen. Patrick Leahy On Amendment To Strike Section 7 ...
U.S. SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY. CONTACT: Office of Senator Leahy, 202-224-4242. VERMONT. Leahy: ‘We have a profoundly important and dangerous choice to make ...
We thought you would be interested in this message from Senator Patrick Leahy's Green Mountain PAC.
Watch the Video Clip from the Rally!
On Tuesday, thousands of Americans rallied on Capitol Hill to demand that the Bush Administration end its abuse of the Constitution and restore our nation's proud tradition of protecting civil liberties and respecting the rule of law.
I was proud to join these patriotic Americans at yesterday's rally. It's so crucial that we build the grassroots coast-to-coast support we need to restore the rule of law.
Of all the rights guaranteed by our Constitution, none is as important as habeas corpus, which gives any person who has been jailed the right to challenge his or her detention before a fair and impartial court. For centuries, habeas corpus has been a powerful tool for protecting freedom. On Tuesday, that right has been stripped away from millions of hard-working legal residents of the United States.
Click here to watch video of my remarks at yesterday's rally to demand the restoration of habeas corpus.
Last year, Congress committed an historic mistake by suspending the Great Writ of habeas corpus in the Military Commissions Act. Like the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, the elimination of habeas rights was an action driven by fear and a stain on America's reputation in the world.
The Military Commissions Act eliminated habeas corpus permanently, for any non-citizen labeled an enemy combatant -- even someone “awaiting” determination of that status. The sweep of this habeas provision goes far beyond the few hundred detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay, and includes an estimated 12 million lawful permanent residents in the United States today. These are people who work and pay taxes, people who abide by our laws and should be entitled to fair treatment. Under this law, any of these people can be detained, forever, without any ability to challenge their detention in court.
Senator Arlen Specter and I are spearheading legislation to restore this vital right to legal residents of the United States, but we need your help to build support in Congress.
Please email your home-state Senators today and urge them to support our Habeas Corpus Restoration Act.
One of the most powerful advocates for the restoration of habeas corpus that I have heard is Rear Admiral Donald Guter, who was working in his office in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, and saw first-hand the effects of terrorism. Admiral Guter declared, "As we limit the rights of human beings, even those of the enemy, we become more like the enemy. That makes us weaker and imperils our valiant troops, serving not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but around the globe.”
I couldn't agree more.
The elimination of basic legal rights undermines, not strengthens, our ability to achieve justice. It is from strength that America should defend our values and our way of life. It is from the strength of our freedoms, our Constitution, and the rule of law that we shall prevail.
I hope you will join me in our grassroots effort to restore habeas rights by emailing your home-state Senators today.
Patrick Leahy U.S. Senator
P.S. After you've emailed your home-state Senators, please forward this email to your friends and family. Help me spread the word about yesterday's rally as we build grassroots support across America for restoring habeas corpus!
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