Subverting the "Great Writ"

…the road to fascism. Are we governed by a president and Congress? Or a (tyrannical) king?

“THE WRIT OF habeas corpus (Latin for “you have the body”) compels the executive branch to produce a prisoner and disclose the legal basis for his or her detention, so the court may decide whether that detention is constitutional. This procedure, which stems from the English Magna Carta of 1215, lies at the very heart of constitutional government, consisting of separated powers guided by the rule of law. Without habeas corpus, there is nothing to prevent the executive from locking a person up without charge or lawful justification, never to be heard from again. Known appropriately in English history as the “Great Writ,” habeas corpus is the brilliant light that protects Americans from the gulag.”

Ashcroft and his Justice Department, and the Bush Administration, have been and still are attempting to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. So far they are only targeting foreigners and citizens of recent foreign origin. But when government acquires power, it does not let it go willingly and eagerly grasps for more; it would only be a matter of time before the writ was suspended entirely.

Read more: “Crossing the Threshold”.

Geoffrey is an Aristotelian-Libertarian political philosopher, writer, editor, and web designer. He is the founder of the Libertarian Fiction Authors Association. His academic work has appeared in Libertarian Papers, the Journal of Libertarian Studies, the Journal of Value Inquiry, and Transformers and Philosophy. He lives in Greenville, NC.