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If John McCain Doesn’t Know the Constitution By Now, He Will Never Never Never Know It (No He Won’t)

Sing it.

John McCain says he opposes the Supreme Court decision striking down provisions of the Military Commissions Act and restoring habeas corpus rights, even though he hasn’t actually read the decision yet (read it for yourself here). Why? Because, McCain says, “these are unlawful combatants; they’re not American citizens.”

Pay attention: John McCain is contending here that constitutional protections do not apply to people who are “not American citizens.” But when the Constitution declares in Article 1 Section 9 that

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it…

it does not limit the privilege of habeas corpus to citizens only — and the Constitution makes distinct reference to the protections that apply to “citizens” only. Indeed, the Constitution applies itself to “persons,” not “citizens,” when determining the jurisdiction of American law, when discussing the structure of the separation of powers, and in the 5th and 14th Amendments that centrally provide for the protection of those who are imprisoned under American jurisdiction. The majority opinion spends some space (see especially pages 8, 28-36, and 72-73 of the opinion) on this subject, reasserting that constitutional protections are given according “not to the petitioners’ citizenship but to the place of their confinement and trial,” a place which according to the court has been under uninterrupted American jurisdiction for over a hundred years.

John McCain has been a politician in Washington for more than 25 years. If he doesn’t know this basic feature of the Constitution by now, he will never know it. The last thing this country needs is another president who doesn’t know the Constitution shoving our country around in his ignorance.

13 comments to If John McCain Doesn’t Know the Constitution By Now, He Will Never Never Never Know It (No He Won’t)

  • Joe

    Article 1 section 9 also doesn’t extend the right of habeas corpus to POW’s. POW’s are held under the rules Geneva Conventions, not the U.S. Constitution. I hope someone calls down Article 3 Section 3 just for laughs. Well, Laughs and executions.

  • Jim

    As George W. Bush himself maintains, and as anyone following the issue even slightly knows, these are not Prisoners of War and have not been afforded that status.

  • Joe

    Enemy Cobatants sorry, still execute them.

  • Sam

    Yes…execute the lot….

  • Jim

    That’s what bin Laden said.

  • Anonymous

    Sentence first,
    verdict later.

  • Anonymous

    i’m glad Joe and Sam aren’t on the Supreme Court . . .

  • Sam

    I can same the same about you….

  • Joe

    Yeah thats what Bin Laden said about innocents at the world trade center Jim. Similar to enemy combatants…. minus the death to America t-shirts. Jim, Al Qaeda is a little short on recruits in Iraq if you haven’t already joined.

  • Jim

    Yeah, that’s exactly what bin Laden said about the people at the World Trade Center. Who cares about innocence and guilt, bin Laden said, just kill ‘em. Just kill ‘em.

    And now you’re saying it. Fuck evidence, fuck due process, just kill ‘em.

    How does it feel to have the same ethic as Osama bin Laden?

    Read this, then take a high school civics course. Listen when the teacher points out that in a free country, you need actual evidence to toss someone in detention.

  • Joe

    Get your ticket for Iraq yet Jim?

  • Joe

    Search this site for Haditha or Abu Ghraib and there are post and comments about how terrible America is and the like. No one calling for a trial to see if the accusations about our troops are true or false. Haditha troops were cleared, didn’t see any posts about that? So it obvious by your posts that YOU, Jim would extend help to the enemy before your fellow Americans. You should be ashamed to call yourself an American and a Buckeye. You give “normal” people with progressive views a bad name.

  • Jim

    Well, of course I didn’t call for a trial. It would be a court martial, and court martial proceedings are still underway in the Haditha case.

    Let me get this straight:

    In the world of Joe, I should be ashamed to call myself an American because I notice and talk about the bad things that the American government has done. Good Americans don’t notice and talk about the bad things that the American government has done.

    In the world of Joe, I should be ashamed to call myself an American because I make a distinction between people who the American government claims are terrorists then indefinitely detains and tortures, and people who the American government proves are terrorists. Good Americans agree with the American government that anybody the government says is a terrorist, is a terrorist, and “the enemy.”

    What an odd, authoritarian world you live in. Why are you so eager to kiss the government’s ass?

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