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Bush, Obama, and the Nine-year “Emergency”

Cold Highway

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Bush and Obama have both denied the writ of habeas corpus to numerous prisoners, claiming the authority to imprison people indefinitely on the President’s say-so as part of their powers in this emergency. However, Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution only allows for a suspension of this privilege “in cases of rebellion or invasion.” As Lewis Seiler and Dan Hamburg wrote after Obama renewed the state of emergency last year, “The Obama administration is essentially arguing that the United States is currently in a state of resisting foreign invasion a full eight years after the attacks of 9/11!” Make that nine years now. “This is ludicrous,” they add. Furthermore, since Article I concerns itself with Congress, not the President, it is likely that the Framers of the Constitution intended to vest the power of suspending habeas corpus in the legislature, making Bush’s and Obama’s overreach not just “ludicrous” but also unconstitutional.

1984 began during the Clinton Administration and has no end in sight


If Republicans regain control of Congress in November, one of their first orders of business should be to terminate the Bush-Obama national emergency. If there ever was a time when it was justified, that time has long since passed; and the longer the state of emergency is allowed to continue, the more detrimental it is to our liberties. Congress needs to assert its constitutional primacy, or it risks becoming the Roman Senate to the Caesar at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

It will be a cold day in hell if that happens.

Bush, Obama, and the Nine-year
 
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