Thursday, June 07, 2007

One Small Step Toward Freedom

Some good news for our much abused Constitution today. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act (S. 185) this morning, with no amendments and no debate, 11-8. Specter was the sole Republican supporting the legislation. The bill should come before the entire Senate later this month.

From the ACLU's Find Habeas blog:

Though far from the comprehensive legislation needed to either close Gitmo and transfer the detainees into secure proceedings in civilian courts, or provide the detainees with a full and fair opportunity to challenge the grounds for their detentions, S. 185 is a crucial piece of lawmaking.

It signals to the White House and the Republican minority in Congress that this is a real issue, and that the quick and dirty passage of the MCA in the final days of the GOP-controlled 109th Congress was ill-advised and somewhat ham-handed.

It is not over by a long shot however, the bill must pass the full Senate, the House, be reconciled and last but not least. Mr. Habeas himself must sign it. In light of that, the ACLU is sponsoring a Day of Action on June 26th with a rally and citizen lobbying. ACLU folks will also be at Firedoglake at 3:00 Eastern today to discuss this legislation and the plan for getting it passed.

Right now though there is some room to celebrate a small step back from the edge of insanity. We can revel in this move toward restoring the most fundamental right in our Constitution and the only one actually enshrined in it. Senators voting aye:

Leahy (D-Vt.), Specter (R-Pa.), Kennedy (D-Ma.), Biden (D-Del.), Kohl (D-Wis.), Feinstein (D-Cal.), Feingold (D-Wis.), Schumer (D-N.Y.), Durbin (D-Ill.), Cardin (D-Md.), Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

h/t to DailyKos

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