Thursday, June 12, 2008

Our system needs to work: Boumediene et al v. Bush and the need for a Right to Survive Amendment.

The Supreme Court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, actually demonstrates the one fundamental right that Americans all have, the right to survive as a nation. Boumediene et al v. Bush approaches the world that liberals want to exist, not the one that does.

Terrorists are by their very nature unlawful combatants who employ our social weaknesses against us. The simple fact that terrorists can use the discovery rights of civil plaintiffs and criminal defendants to obtain insight into the means of their captures is indicative of the chaos that Boumediene ignites in the Western world. This quite literally sets us down the road toward Miranda rights for prisoners of war and apprehended unlawful combatants.

But we have a system to redress judicial error, the process of constitutional amendment. The United States simply needs to adopt a Right to Survive Amendment. The contents are simple:

Section 1. No Court of the United States or any subdivision thereof shall have jurisdiction to hear a request for a writ of habeas corpus from any person who is not a citizen or lawful resident of the United States and who has been individually or collectively designated as an unlawful combatant by the President of the United States.

Section 2. No Court of the United States or any political subdivision thereof shall recognize the right to a hearing in the Courts of the United States or any political subdivision thereof for any person who is not a citizen or lawful resident of the United States and who has been individually or collectively designated as an unlawful combatant by the President of the United States which right arises from any order of a foreign or international tribunal.

The Constitution is not a suicide pact-it’s an axiom because it’s true. The death of the American state means we, or our children, lose the benefits of our Constitutional structure because we blindly adhered to precisely the inflexible view of the Constitution as creating static body of law that operates outside the history of its time.

Get on board and demand just such an amendment.


Anonymous said...

In other words, let's tell the rest of the world "Do as I say, not as I do". What a shining example of democracy!
If we had actually declared war and there was no question that these were POWs - would be be in this mess?

Anonymous said...

Here's the Dem competition running for Carmine Boal's seat, District 70.

You can find Matt Pfaltzgraf's biography at his website:, or you can e-mail him at matt4staterep AT - promoted by desmoinesdem

"This is my first entry and will keep it pretty short. I am the Democratic candidate in Ankeny running for the seat previously held by Carmine Boal.

I have a long hard road of raising money and knocking doors, but I have been working hard introducing myself to as many people as I can.

I am finishing up school at the University of Iowa and have a long history of working on issues important to Iowans here in the state that I will go into at another time.

I'm happy to share some of my thoughts and views here and hope that anyone that has any questions will get in contact with me."
So, I guess the D's won't be using the fact that Erik Helland is finishing Law School against him as simply a mere student, right? Matt graduated from Ankeny High School in 2003.

When you go look at this web page "about him" you find out his parents should really be running for office. He lists their resume's I guess because his is so very very thin.

Go Get'm Kevin.

Art A Layman said...


The everpresent, "Let's change the Constitution" cry.

Many of our founding fathers expected numerous Constitutional amendments as we progressed. At our founding the 2/3 requirement in the Congress and the 3/4 requirement for the states were not significant hurdles with only 13 states. With 50 states and 535 members of Congress we've shifted from a low hurdle race to a high hurdle one. One could posit that if we had 50 states at the outset the limits might have been set lower.

Now you are aware that currently you probably couldn't reach either one of those limitations. It is highly likely that in the foreseeable future conservatives will not have sufficient majorities to even get an amendment, such as this, off the drawing board.

Though our founders did expect more amendments they also intended to raise the bar high enough so that everytime some divorce lawyer in a particular state got a hair crosswise up his butt he wouldn't be able to easily muster up enough support to mess with the Constitution.

Maybe, if we're going to go to such lengths, we should do an amendment that establishes a fourth branch of government. A branch, which I'm sure you would suggest should be made up of conservatives, that would be given "judicial review" of all SCOTUS decisions, and would then create amendments whenever a SCOTUS decision did not make them happy. No doubt they would quickly become the busiest branch. Of course what do we do if we disagree with their judgment?

We are country that has historically stood for, not only freedom, but also fairness and the rule of law. When Congress and/or the President have tended to abridge any of those concepts we have a last resort. One which generally brings a more reasoned Constitutional interpretation to the issue. Few of the decisions handed down by that last resort gain favor from all facets of the political spectrum. That fact, however, does not negate the value of the process nor of the decision.

Had the Bush administration handled this situation more sensibly, timely and fairly, it is doubtful that the SCOTUS would have ever been involved. In their inimitable fashion they bungled the process, rounding up warm bodies based on flimsy evidence or questionable witness statements and then holding those bodies, many not guilty of anything, for interminable periods of time with absolutely no action resembling fair and equitable or normal legal treatment.

When government actions, or inactions, appear to be infringing on what we, as a nation, have held to be human rights, those, possibly mistreated, must have some recourse. That recourse is to appeal to a body that most consider as more reasoned and deliberative than either of the other two branches; the SCOTUS.

That court of last resort must then try to right the ship of inept government and return us to those values that our culture has always held tantamount and that in their majority mind are consistent with our Constitutional values.

Congress can always write new laws attempting to correct previous errors, on this subject this has already been tried. Rabble-rousing about a Constitutional amendment every time you disagree with a SCOTUS decision would appear folly and a ridiculous waste of time.

Consider the implications of your proposed amendment. The President could decide that any foreigner is an unlawful combatant, have him arrested and confined, never to be heard from again. An absurd proposal.

Anonymous said...

Wow art - way to hand Ted's ass to him. Well said.

Anonymous said...

I'm watching the devastation in Cedar Rapids. Nothing worked. Levees broke. The SYSTEM didn't work.

Sound familiar? Katrina?????

No, it doesn't sound familiar. No one is blaming Bush for intentionally, strategically breaking the levees because Bush hates White People in Cedar Rapids.

No one is blaming George Bush for intentionally killing Boy Scouts because he sent the tornado there and FEMA couldn't stop it from happening.

No one is blaming the government for not handling a devastating hit from Mother Nature. No one.

Everyone is complimenting the positive spirits, the acts of heroism and not behaving like monsters.

Anonymous said...

Oops - Spoke too soon. I forgot to check in with Wayne Ford. I guess George Bush hates Black people and therefore, he made sure Birdland got flooded. Check out Iowas Newz Liter's ironic take on it below.

Hey Democrat Liberal Progressive do nothing for yourself Wayne Ford - where is your leadership? Where is your heroism?
Dummycrat State Representative Wayne Ford went off the deep end when he was caught complaining about government response to this year's flooding of the Union Park/Birdland neighborhood.

Per the Ragister on 6/12...

officials have not been responsive enough since the 1993 floods — and help is coming too slowly now. He said there aren’t enough sandbags to protect homes and businesses in the area and he worries about flooding at North High School, directly across Second Avenue from the area being evacuated.

"...If we can protect Sec Taylor stadium, we should also be able to protect North High School.”

First off Wayne, it's Principal Park and has been since 2004.

Second, it was sandbagged by Iowa Cubs employees.

Thirdly, get off your fat ass and help sandbag.

Were you a part of the huge effort in Union Park to fill sandbags to be stacked by the National Guard?

How about utilizing your organization Urban Dreams?

Anonymous said...

ONE POINT OF VIEW - Wayne Ford's world where the whole city goes into a conspiracy about making sure one neighborhood goes to hell. He completely ignores the reality of how much help was there.

"Ford watched the rising water in the area and talked with Arthur Avenue resident Raymond Messer, who said “everything is going to hell” again.

“The city doesn’t care about this end of town,” Messer said. "

Anonymous said...

ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW - From the same neighborhood. Why the difference I wonder?

"John Paul, manager of Des Moines Cold Storage at Eighth Street and New York Avenue, the nearest business to Grubb Community Stadium, (NORTH HIGH SCHOOL) was thankful for the extra hands -- and heavy equipment that included front-end loaders and at least one crane -- trying to save the areas on the east side of the levee.

“We are thrilled to see the National Guard and what the city is doing,” he said. “This is what you call positive thinking. We are going to make it through this.”

Volunteers were stationed at McHenry Park to fill sandbags for the Guard throughout Thursday afternoon. Gene Schmitt, a city engineer leading the efforts there, said helpers were producing 1,000 to 1,500 sandbags an hour “with nothing but volunteers.

They will easily fill the 6,000 sandbags delivered” and Schmitt had called for more sandbags to the area.

Art A Layman said...

Thanks 10:40

Anonymous said...

Sporer, You look pretty isolated here. No one has supported your idea.

I have two questions: Do you believe in the living Constitution, as it appears from your post; or do you believe in original intent as most Republicans claim to believe?

Second question: Did you notice the part of the SCOTUS decision that remarked on how these prisoners have been there SIX YEARS with no end in sight? Miranda rights, my ass!

You sure you are a lawyer? Spotlight

Art A Layman said...


I noticed that too. I didn't bring it up because I had a bigger issue.

I would have to presume that Scalia is one of sporie's heroes and Scalia would cringe at the statement sporie made.

Anonymous said...

Consistency has never been one of Ted's strong points. He will spew what ever is politically expedient at the time.

Anonymous said...

Oh, oh. More terrorists arrested in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. Wonder why this didn't make the news much:

"Investigators say they were stockpiling a cache of weapons with plans to target local government buildings.

The FBI, in raids over the weekend, confiscated hundreds of weapons - including everything from hunting rifles, homemade bombs, rudimentary rockets and cannons.

Sources tell KDKA's Marty Griffin the suspects made threats to blow up government buildings and carry out other extreme acts of domestic terrorism."

You can see their pictures at

Claire said...

No surprise here, I agree with Art as well. Guantanamo is U.S. soil for all intents and purposes, has been since the Spanish American war. That is the hole in Bush's case. He says since Guantanamo is not on U.S. soil that we don't have to follow U.S. law. What a crock of poo.

Charge the detainees with a crime if there is evidence. But six years with no charges and no contact with an attorney? Even the most reasonable American knows that is not the spirit of the law or the constitution.

Anonymous said...

That's the convenience of the "Us vs. Them" argument. I'm sure Ted would argue "If you're not with us you're against us" and deserve nothing in terms of rights.

Anonymous said...

Here's more news about terrorists:

"The McClatchy investigation found that top Bush administration officials knew within months of opening the Guantanamo detention center that many of the prisoners there weren't "the worst of the worst." From the moment that Guantanamo opened in early 2002, former Secretary of the Army Thomas White said, it was obvious that at least a third of the population didn't belong there.

Of the 66 detainees whom McClatchy interviewed, the evidence indicates that 34 of them, about 52 percent, had connections with militant groups or activities. At least 23 of those 34, however, were Taliban foot soldiers, conscripts, low-level volunteers or adventure-seekers who knew nothing about global terrorism.

Only seven of the 66 were in positions to have had any ties to al Qaida's leadership, and it isn't clear that any of them knew any terrorists of consequence.

If the former detainees whom McClatchy interviewed are any indication — and several former high-ranking U.S. administration and defense officials said in interviews that they are — most of the prisoners at Guantanamo weren't terrorist masterminds but men who were of no intelligence value in the war on terrorism."

found elsewhere and brought here by Spotlight--on the truth.

Anonymous said...

Come on, you know the drill by now. Let's try to discredit the source as a disgruntled former employee. Amazing how many of those there have been the past 8 years.

Anonymous said...

About time for Ted to fire up a rant about gay marriage isn't it? I know I woke up this morning knowing my great marriage is now destroyed because of Mr. Sulu.

Anonymous said...

From Today's GOP EAGLE. I wonder if anyone at RPI is listening or perhaps Rants or Iverson - anyone, anyone? They epitomize the career politician who refuses to lead.

"How has the Republican Party managed to thoroughly squander the commanding heights achieved under Reagan's leadership?

Unfortunately, courage and leadership are rare. Reagan understood and was committed to what this country is uniquely about - traditional values and individual freedom.

Most come to Washington for career, not to serve. With Reagan's departure, the risk-averse, career-motivated establishment, which quaked at the idea of the president publicly challenging the Soviet Union or taking principled stands on anything, began to take over.

With the loss of ideals, the first casualty is our youth. Today, Democratic control over the 18-29 vote is commanding. This was also the case in the 1970s. But throughout the '80s and '90s, the 18-29 vote was divided roughly equally between Democrats and Republicans.

Republican politicians also have lost touch with their own base. A Pew Research Center survey shows that Republicans are more religious now than they were 20 years ago.

Today's Republican leadership refuses to acknowledge that the social agenda has increased in importance."

Anonymous said...

Most come to Washington (AND IOWA)for career, not to serve.


...the risk-averse, career-motivated establishment, HAS taken over.


...With the loss of ideals, the first casualty is our youth.


...Republican politicians also have lost touch with their own base.


Today's Republican leadership refuses to acknowledge that the social agenda has increased in importance.


Anonymous said...

The social agenda is a dead end. Today's youth don't give a crap if Jim and John want to get married. It's going to be the fiscal issues that the new "power" party develops from. But when the GOP spends like drunken sailors and tries to fund rain forests in the prairie - why wouldn't the fiscal conservatives leave the party in droves. The Jesus freaks will take over and it will be the end of the GOP.

RF said...

"Today's youth don't give a crap if Jim and John want to get married."

Sporer - If you take one piece of advice from us visiting D's on your blog, this should be it. As long as the R party sticks with the J-freaky social agenda focused on gays, the future looks very bright for my party. Can't you feel how much less potent the whole gay marriage issue has gotten in four short years since 2004?

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing Deace will implode by the end of the week once he realizes the world won't end with CA gay marriages taking place. The acceptance of gay marriage will happen MUCH faster than the acceptance of blacks as equal citizens.

Anonymous said...

Look at the economics we are missing out on:

According to a University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) study published earlier this week, around 51,000 of the 102,000 same-sex couples living in California are expected to marry over the next three years.

A further 67,500 same-sex couples from other states that are likely to recognize their vows are expected to come to California during the same period to get married, the study found.

"Spending by resident same-sex couples on their weddings and by out-of-state couples ... will boost California's economy by over 683.6 million dollars in direct spending over the next three years," the UCLA study reported, adding that the new industry would create around 2,100 new jobs.

Anonymous said...

You know what? If there's one thing to be said for Communism it's that it wouldn't have sired a bunch of Capitalist freaks that would swoop down and try to make a buck off of fag weddings.

Anonymous said...

It's the new backbone of the American economy!!!!!! Don't like it? I hear Cuba and China are lovely this time of year.

Anonymous said...

China might be all right, but Cuba? At this time of year? You're crazy. No sooner than you wake up in the morning than you're sweating like a coolie! Those freaks down there don't have any freon last I heard. And don't get me started on the gnats. Lousy stinking gnats are everywhere!

Anonymous said...

I for one never could stand that Cuban prick Ricky Ricardo. Bah Bah Loo? What is that nonsense? Ridiculous.