“Restoration of Habeas Corpus” Bill Passes in Committee

Brian Zick

Ari Melber for The Nation reports: Today the Senate Judiciary Committee passed an important bill to restore habeas corpus, the sacrosanct Constitutional right to challenge government detention in court, by a vote of eleven to eight.Habeas corpus was revoked by last year's Military Commissions Act, which has been assailed as unconstitutional and un-American by leaders across the political spectrum. Today's habeas bill was backed by the Judiciary Committee's Democratic Chairman, Patrick Leahy, and its Republican Ranking Member, Arlen Specter. "The drive to restore this fundamental right has come from both sides of the aisle," said Sharon Bradford, an attorney at the bipartisan Constitution Project, in response to today's vote. "Restoring America's commitment to the rule of law is not a partisan cause; it is a patriotic one," she added.Today's vote means the habeas bill can now be brought to the Senate floor at any time. One source with knowledge of the legislative plan said Majority Leader Harry Reid has committed to bringing the bill to a vote within the month. Melber also reports: Senator Chris Dodd, the most aggressive defender of the Constitution in the presidential race, is pushing legislation that would not only restore habeas, but also ban the use of evidence obtained through torture and recommit the U.S. to the Geneva Conventions.

Subscribe and Save 66%

Less than $1.67 an issue