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September 15, 2006

More habeas "reform" in the works?

I received today this interesting and perhaps alarming news from JoAnna Moskal at The Justice Project:

I wanted to let you know about some habeas repeal measures that some members of Congress are trying to sneak through in the last legislative days before the mid-term elections....

Behind closed doors, just this week, there are efforts to attach habeas repeal measures and 300 pages of other non-germane matters to the Department of Defense Authorization bill. The primary purpose of this bill, which is currently in conference and could be finalized in the coming days, is to provide resources for troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

As you know, there has been broad bi-partisan opposition to habeas repeal legislation, but we are worried that members of both parties who have fought on principle to resist these regressive changes may be made to look anti-patriotic when they object to the unnecessary, unrelated additions to the DOD bill.  In addition, much of this maneuvering has been taking place though back door channels and the regular order which assures that both Chambers of Congress have a fair opportunity to consider the legislation has been skirted.  Alarmingly, the texts of some of the added measures have not been seen by many members and their staff nor by the public.

Our habeas web page has been updated with this new information and we are currently asking residents of Virginia to call on Senator John Warner, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, to not allow the non-germane and controversial additions to the DOD bill. We wanted to make sure you knew about the current efforts in Congress.

September 15, 2006 at 04:27 PM | Permalink


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