Friday, September 09, 2005

In Memoriam

The Fourth and Fifth Ammendments to the Constitution
B. 4 March 1789
D. 9 September 2005

Fourth Ammendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Fifth Ammendment
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

- The Bill of Rights

According to a decision released today, the federal government may arrest and hold indefinitely, without charge or trial, a US citizen on US soil. Beyond being a clear violation of the constitutional protections regarding search and siezure and due process, it also represents a grave abrogation of the principles of separation of powers. It is sad that the reactionary conservatism of Judges like Roberts and Justice Thomas extends only as far as the Second Ammendment, otherwise their usual concern for the framers' intent would have cases like this overturned immediately.

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