Reflection on Alito, the Constitution, and Civil Liberties

Common Dreams
by John Buell

02/01/06

Holding unnamed 'enemy combatants' under indefinite confinement, permitting the secret torture of detainees in Iraq, and bypassing Congress in order to secretly authorize the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on American citizens constitute violations of US and international law. Nonetheless, by themselves these actions are less troublesome than the reactions to them. ... Domestic wiretaps managed to gain more media traction than earlier concerns about the Patriot Act. Members of the Judiciary Committee pointedly asked Judge Alito if the President is above the law. Alito responded that the President is not above the Constitution. His own reading of the Constitution, however, suggested few limits to the President's powers. Nonetheless, hours after the nominee's testimony key Democratic Senators were informing the media that there was little chance of any effective opposition to the Alito nomination and that a filibuster was unlikely. The eventual attempt at a filibuster by a few liberal Democrats amounted to little more than a token bone to a few activists...

//www.commondreams.org/views06/0201-25.htm


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