Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Republican Senate Blocks Habeas Corpus Restoration Act


The Habeas Corpus Restoration Act has effectively died in the senate. The US Senate fell four votes short of having the sixty votes needed to tie the Habeas provision to legislation authorizing defense spending. Crooks and Liars has a break down of the voting. The table below presents the information in a different order, to make it clearer who voted in what way on the bill.

It was back in November of last year that Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) first introduced legislation that would amend the Military Commission Act of 2006. Dodd's legislation would introduce the following changes to the MCA:

1) Restoring habeas corpus.

2) Establishing a more focussed and more realistic definition of "enemy combatant".

3) Limiting the president's interpretation of the Geneva Conventions by, in part, demanding congressional and judicial oversight.

4) And, most importantly, it calls for a judicial review of the constitutionality of the MCA. I can only assume that, if successful, it could lead to an eventual repeal of the entire law. Huffington Post

Dodd is still committed to this legislation, and will continue to fight for it's passage. This is what he said last November.

"We in Congress have our own obligation, to work in a bipartisan way to repair the damage that has been done, to protect our international reputation, to preserve our domestic traditions, and to provide a successful mechanism to improve and enhance the tools required by the global war on terror."

We have heard the word of 44 Republican senators on this matter, and it is their votes alone that have halted this legislation. We should remember the names of those Republicans that voted against this bill, as well as the names of the few Republicans that reached across the aisle and voted for it (Hagel, Lugar, Smith, Snowe, Specter, and Sununu).

I Give it about 12 hours before the nihilistic defeat-o-crats start to make up reasons to blame the democrats for this, despite all of Dodd's and the other senator's efforts.

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