Civil Liberties & Privacy

Civil Liberty and the State: The Writ of Habeas Corpus

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LIMITING THE POWERS OF GOVERNMENT has been one of the leading struggles in the history of mankind. Through most of man’s time on earth, governments have presumed to rule, command, order, and threaten multitudes of human beings — to make the mass of humanity bend to the will of their political masters. The political rulers have often considered themselves to ... [click for more]

Andrea Yates: Person or Nonperson?

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Andrea Yates has been convicted of murder. But the debate over the insanity plea will continue. Yates admitted to methodically drowning her five young children in a bathtub. Yet she claimed that mental illness made her do it and she didn’t know right from wrong. This is nothing but a modern, secular version of ... [click for more]

The Right to Confront and Cross-Examine Witnesses

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Included among the Bush administration’s new rules for the trials of suspected terrorists captured abroad is the right of the accused (or his attorney) to confront and cross-examine witnesses, a right guaranteed to Americans in criminal prosecutions by the Sixth Amendment. But the Bush administration is being disingenuous in the ... [click for more]

The Bill of Rights at Work

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The unfolding developments in the John Walker Lindh case and the Guantanamo "detainees" situation reflect why Americans should be so grateful to our early ancestors for demanding the first ten amendments to the Constitution as a condition of adopting the Constitution. Recall that there was tremendous resistance among the several states to the adoption of the ... [click for more]

Protecting Our Way of Life?

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Even when responding to a monstrous and unjustifiable provocation such as September 11, the U.S. government threatens our liberty. We have much to fear from the power in Washington. At least Osama bin Laden never says he has our interests at heart. We can't be lulled into trusting him. Not so with the U.S. government. It ... [click for more]

Does Endorsement of Military Tribunals Insult Bush?

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As FFF friends and supporters know, we have taken a firm stand against President Bush's military tribunals. See, for example, "Military Tribunals: Another Step Away from Our Principles" by Jacob G. Hornberger and "Emergencies, Military Tribunals, and the Constitution" by Jacob G. Hornberger. In a recent conversation I had with Sheldon Richman, he ... [click for more]

Military Tribunals: Another Step Away from Our Principles

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President Bush's plan to form military tribunals to punish suspected terrorists is one more step away from the civilized principles of constitutional government and the rule of law that have long distinguished the United States from other nations in history. The president's tribunals would apply to two classes of accused terrorists: those captured as part of ... [click for more]

A Victory for Freedom

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Kudos to President Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft for ultimately deciding to comply with the Constitution in the U.S. government's prosecution of suspected terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, who is accused of having participated in the September 11 attacks. Bush and Ashcroft had threatened to try Moussaoui before a secret military tribunal whose Star Chamber and ... [click for more]

The Implications of Forfeiting Our Freedoms Today

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We are witnessing in America today the consequences from a weakened appreciation of the purposes and importance of this constitutional order under the emotional shock of a terrible and evil act on September 11, 2001. Our fear and anger is clouding our reason, a reason that should guide us to first think whether the individual ... [click for more]

If Only Freedom Had a Price

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IF ONLY FREEDOM HAD A PRICE, we would know what each individual thought it was worth. Each individual could express his own valuation and judgment of what he would pay to maintain or increase his freedom and what he would have to receive in exchange to give up some or all ... [click for more]
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