Thursday, May 2, 2013

With Liberty and Justice For All


The quotation of the day in Wednesday’s Times was taken from President Obama. “The idea that we would still maintain forever a group of individuals who have not been tried, that is contrary to who we are, contrary to our interests, and it needs to stop.” In the piece from which the quote was taken “Amid Hunger Strike, Obama Renews Push to Close Cuba Prison," (NYT, 4/30/13), the president is also quoted as saying “The notion that we’re going to keep 100 individuals in no man’s land in perpetuity…All of us should reflect on why exactly we are doing this? Why are we doing this?” There are a lot of talk about exceptions. Exercising the public safety exception was debated in terms of Mirandizing the surviving Tsarnaev brother in the Boston marathon bombing. But it’s precisely at times like these in which Constitutional guarantees, due process and adherence to the Geneva Conventions are truly tested. It’s nice to discuss the Bill of Rights in a law school classroom, but the power of the document is vindicated when it's exercised with respect to those for whom we would like exceptions to be made—those we fear and hate. Dismantling Guantanamo is undoubtedly a nightmare, but any country that is capable of landing on Mars, can certainly work out the logistics of the human rights debacle posed by the detainees.

1 comment:

  1. jylle benson-gaussMay 2, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Bravo!
    "It’s nice to discuss the Bill of Rights in a law school classroom, but the power of the document is vindicated when it's exercised with respect to those for whom we would like exceptions to be made—those we fear and hate."

    Wise words.

    ReplyDelete

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