The Corner

Earth to Arlen Specter

The NYT quotes Specter on the detainee bill set to pass to this week: “‘What this bill would do is take our civilization back 900 years,’ to before the adoption of the writ of habeas corpus in medieval England, Senator Specter said.”

What would he have thought of Lincoln’s (unconstitutional) suspension of the writ? (Only Congress can suspend it).  And what about the suspension during World War II?  Did that also take the country back 900 years?  Doesn’t he realize that if the detainees get access to the protections of our domestic criminal justice system, they are accumulating the protections of prisoners of war and normal criminal defendants, and will thus wind up better off than either, when in fact, they are worse than either?  And he’s not even facing reelection.  

Why is Specter actively assisting the Democrats in their anti-Bush communications strategy?  Does he actually believe their talking point (which they themselves do not in many cases believe) that Bush is a danger to the Constitution?  What can he possibly be thinking?

Mario Loyola — Mr. Loyola is a research associate professor and the director of the Environmental Finance and Risk Management Program at Florida International University and a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. From 2017 to 2019 he was the associate director for regulatory reform at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.


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