Sunday, May 15, 2011

ALL sides want your civil liberties to disappear

Just some of the latest assaults on everyone's basic freedoms from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government:

1.  Charles Kadlec of Forbes magazine reports that President Obama is apparently about to issue an executive order requiring any company (no matter what size) competing for a government contract, along with its senior officers (such as the owner if the firm is a sole proprietorship) and political action committee (if one exists), to generate a single report listing all contributions these parties may have made to political parties and candidates for the last two years.

"Similar disclosure requirements were in a bill that last year’s Democratic Senate was unwilling to pass. By signing the order, President Obama would override the democratic process and rule, instead, by decree."

Mr. Kadlec is quite correct when he opines that this kind of information in a single easily-accessible government database will almost certainly be misused by Dear Leader to arbitrarily deny contract awards to any firms who happened to contribute to his political opponents. 

2.  In other chilling Dear Leader news, his administration has filed a memo in a criminal case maintaining "the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) gives judges the right to censor and withhold material that is 'unclassified'.'" 

Sorry, White House sycophants who are nominally all for "transparency".  Either material is classified or it isn't.  If the latter, common peasants (and especially criminal defendants, as in the case in which the memo was submitted) have every right to request and look at it.  We paid for it, after all.  The defendant's attorneys certainly agree:

"CIPA authorizes substitutions only for 'classified information,' not unclassified information."

Indeed, the CIPA makes no mention of "unclassified" materials being protected, nor does the word "unclassified" even appear in its text." 

Having something be that legally crystal clear doesn't mean the judiciary will pay the slightest bit of attention, as the next story shows us.

3.  The Indiana Supreme Court has overturned a cornerstone of American and English common law that has been in place as far back as 1215 by ruling that residents of that state have no right to resist an unlawful police entry into their home:

"In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry.

'We believe ... a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence,' David said."

And hence the problem with viewing the Constitution as a "living, breathing document" that only means whatever those currently wearing the black robes thinks it means through their ideological prisms, rather than their strictly interpreting the plain text of the document.

We wonder what "modern" opinions Justice David holds on the other absolute liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights such as freedom of speech and the right to a speedy trial, but fear those pronouncements would prove just as ludicrous. 

4.  We have just noticed that U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) last year introduced S. 3081, legislation that would permit the President to imprison anyone, even U.S. citizens, without charge or trial indefinitely merely by designating those people "enemy belligerents".

This proposed law almost certainly would not pass judicial review on Fifth Amendment grounds (except if Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David were to rule on the issue, no doubt), but the fact that someone who was held captive without trial for five and a half years in an undeclared war would think this legislation is a good idea simply boggles the mind.


Crotalus (Dont Tread on Me) said...

Soapbox: ignored.

Ballot box: corrupted.

Jury box: in enemy hands.

Only box left: the ammo box.

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