www.democrats.com--The folks at democrats.com are running a petition urging all members of Congress to pass this bill, restoring habeas corpus not just for those detained by the United States, but for every American citizen. The bill's sponsor is Arlen Specter, and he deserves his due on this one. At least he's willing to fix what he originally neglected.
He wisely sponsored it with Sen. Patrick Leahy and 18 other Democratic Senators on December 5th, 2006 as S.4081 during the ill-fated 109th Congress, and it has continued with its resubmission as S.185 by Specter on January 4th of this year. Former-Sen. John Edwards wasn't one of them for the original bill and Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders is missing from the vote in the current version. The question is: why?
Beyond Specter, there are no current GOP cosponsors. Nearly every Democratic candidate for president currently in the Senate are sponsoring it, but a good number of Democratic Senators are AWOL. What's so controversial about an 800-year-old tradition? It's curious, but they might have felt that the bill's language wasn't assertive enough.
Otherwise, this is bipartisanship with substance. This blog urges everyone to consider signing the petition, Congress has been dawdling in their pledge to restore this fundamental right in Anglo-American law. It has been the basis of the liberties we've enjoyed for nearly 800 years. It should never have been suspended, but was done in an atmosphere of haste and political panic by opportunists in the GOP and the Bush administration.
This is all to eliminate "the Military Commissions Act," hastily passed by the dying 109th Congress on September 28th (in the House) and 29th (in the Senate) of 2006, in gross-defiance of the will of the American public--it surely figures-into the end of the Republican majority less-than two months later, just another nail. Voters should recognize that current GOP incumbents are still holding their un-American viewpoint on habeas corpus, and vote accordingly in 2008. John McCain and Joe Lieberman voted to suspend habeas corpus, and a surprising number of Democrats...and one Sen. Arlen Specter.
The Senate bill (S.185, of the 110th Congress): http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-185
Amnesty International on the Military Commissions Act: http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGAMR511542006
The Military Commissions Act of 2006: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_cong_bills&docid=f:s3930enr.txt.pdf
How they voted on the Military Commissions Act of 2006 in the Senate: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=2&vote=00259