23. November 2005 · Comments Off on Is The Fourth Circuit A Constitution-Free Zone? · Categories: General, GWOT

Relative to Jose Padilla’s indictment today, Jack M. Balkin at Balkinization has a cautionary post on the future:

The Padilla case is a sobering lesson in how much leeway the President has to imprison and detain people for long periods of time in violation of the Constitution. The fact that the government’s story about why Padilla was a threat has changed so frequently should give us pause the next time the government asserts that we should trust it when it rounds up U.S. citizens and claims the right to hold them indefinitely for our protection. Padilla may well be a very bad fellow, but we have a method of dealing with such bad fellows. It is called the rule of law, and we should not surrender it so readily merely because the President desires it.

Congress has had plenty of time (really, since 1861) to provide for a court system that will protect our rights while still furthering national security.

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