No No Alberto


Specter: Now wait a minute, wait a minute. The Constitution says you can’t take it away except in the case of invasion or rebellion. Doesn’t that mean you have the right of habeas corpus?

Gonzales: I meant by that comment that the Constitution doesn’t say that every individual in the United States or every citizen has or is assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn’t say that. It simply says that the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended.

This is not an official transcript. When the real transcript goes online, please alert me.

Update: See Robert Parry at Consortium News.

Responding to questions from Sen. Arlen Specter at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Jan. 18, Gonzales argued that the Constitution doesn’t explicitly bestow habeas corpus rights; it merely says when the so-called Great Writ can be suspended.

“There is no expressed grant of habeas in the Constitution; there’s a prohibition against taking it away,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales’s remark left Specter, the committee’s ranking Republican, stammering.

“Wait a minute,” Specter interjected. “The Constitution says you can’t take it away except in case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn’t that mean you have the right of habeas corpus unless there’s a rebellion or invasion?”

Gonzales continued, “The Constitution doesn’t say every individual in the United States or citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn’t say that. It simply says the right shall not be suspended” except in cases of rebellion or invasion.

“You may be treading on your interdiction of violating common sense,” Specter said.

Specter helped create this monster. I hope he’s sorry now.

14 thoughts on “No No Alberto

  1. The Constitution also does not say that everyone has freedom of speech, only that it shall not be abridged. Does this mean that President Scumbag can abridge it for some on his whim?

    Do not fear these idiots, fight until they get their just rewards and they are consigned to a circle of hell where their eyeballs will bubble for eternity.

  2. Methinks the Bushies hid too long in their bubble and their brains suffered oxygen deprivation. The election maybe burst the bubble, but a bit too late: phew, there’s a pretty bad inside-out rot kind of smell emanating off the bubblers like Gonzales.

  3. I fear the erosion of civil liberties more than I hate the waste and futility of the Iraq war. Getting Gonzales on the hot seat is of historic import, and I fear it may be lost on a lot of Senators and Congressmen who know little of the Bill of Rights.

    How long is he scheduled to be there? Let me know about transcripts or broadcasts on CSpan. What can the committee do about his testimony? What are they likely to do?

    From what I read, Gonzales was training for his testimony for weeks in advance, so he does not consider it a side show.

  4. Are you lost? Do you need directions?

    Only slightly OT, one of my favorite New Yorker cartoons features a little boy crying in a department store, obviously lost, who is approached by a man with a briefcase. The caption reads, “Little boy, do you need an attorney?”

    Given the subject of the thread, I couldn’t resist.

  5. Once upon a time in this nation, well, actually at the founding of this nation, we believed that there were rights of all men, endowed by their Creator and unalienable, implying that they didn’t end just because someone happened to be born somewhere else. The Creator didn’t check the US citizenship rolls when He/She/It did the endowing.

  6. Guess the Senate better start asking these types of questions at the confirmation hearings…Maybe they can just go thru the Constitution and the Bill of Rights line by line and ask the nominee for their interpretation…Isn’t the AG supposed to be looking out for We, The People?

  7. …Isn’t the AG supposed to be looking out for We, The People?

    Comment by eap — January 19, 2007 @ 9:14 am

    Hahahaha – that’s a good one! Obviously, he’s only looking out for BushCo.

  8. I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t play one on the TV. But I seem to recall that we have a ton of common law that was passed down to us from English common law, the Magna Carta, etc. Not everything is specified point by point in the Constitution.

    “The right [it is clearly assumed to exist for Constitutional purposes] shall not be abridged.” What part of that simple sentence is unclear?

    Maybe Gonzoles was absent the day they taught law in law school… I’m assuming he did go to law school. Probably the same on John Yoo went to…

  9. Alberto is tres amusant, eh? Not.

    But I think he revealed some insight into the Bushevik “reality” — since habeus isn’t actually enumerated as one of the rights bestowed by the Constitution on the People, it isn’t actually a “right” at all. This may fly in the face of centuries of constitutional law and precedent, but that’s not the point. The point is to be a “literalist” wrt to the Constitution (their ideology insists on it), and “literally” there is no habeus right in the Constitution, ergo, no one has such a right, Consitutionally.

    It is a novel and activist interpretation, to say the least. A case could be made that it is a revolutionary interpretation, but again, that is beside the point in the Bushevik view. Their faith in Constitutional “literalism” — often supported by a minority of the Supreme Court, don’t forget — requires them to spout such nonsense and adhere to it no matter what. Remind you of the behavior of some rebellious adolescents? Well, there you are.

    That Specter could only sputter in disbelief is funny to them. Of course it’s “funny” to get your elders’ goats this way, and I’m sure there was a big chortle-fest back at the White House and the DoJ once the hearing was over.

    There literally is no grant of habeus corpus in the Constitution, nor — as AbuG said during his confirmation (I think it was him) — is there a federal right to vote. So all our keening and prattling about “rights” is for naught, see? We don’t have a right of habeus and we don’t have a right to vote, at least not in the Constitution of the United States.

    We should get over ourselves, shouldn’t we?

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