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"Indeed, the rage of theorists to make constitutions a vehicle for the conveyance of their own crude, and visionary aphorisms of government, requires to be guarded against with the most unceasing vigilance."
     -- Joseph Story
     Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States
     Book III, § 1857.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

FROM TODAY'S "BEST OF THE WEB" (scroll to the item named, "Terror Technicalities"):

"It's not clear from the report whether Benu actually is a terrorist, but the case does underscore the limits of the criminal-justice system in dealing with terrorism. Criminals often go free because of legal technicalities, and rightly so. But if someone is part of a group waging war on America, the government needs to have a way of neutralizing the threat, even if it can't make or uphold a criminal case against him."

The government does have a way of neutralizing the threat. It can be found in the Constitution, Article I, Section 9, Clause 2: "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases or Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it" (emphasis added). Unfortunately for Taranto, the exercise of this power requires an enabling act from Congress, and Congress has so far failed to provide one. Just a technicality.

-- posted by Clayton 11/20/2002 08:30:00 PM

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For the more forensically inclined