December 15, 2006

Law Professor Brief

This is interesting:
A group of elite law professors from Harvard and other schools filed a legal brief this week asserting that one of the Bush administration’s central anti-terror policies is unconstitutional, a move that brought together scholars from across the political spectrum.

The “friend-of-the-court” brief, filed in the case of suspected al Qaeda agent Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, argues that the Military Commissions Act violates the Constitution. The professors argue that the act denies al-Marri the right to a writ of habeas corpus—an order requiring that a “court of law review the legal adequacy of the executive’s grounds for detaining” an individual, according to Frank I. Michelman, Harvard’s Walmsley university professor and one of the scholars who signed the brief.

Since it was filed Tuesday, the brief has made a large splash in legal circles principally because two well-known conservatives—Steven G. Calabresi of Northwestern University and Richard A. Epstein of the University of Chicago—joined in the brief.

The Bush administration “figured out every constitutional protection you’d want and they removed them,” Epstein told The Associated Press. He added that while he considers many of his liberal colleagues to be “mad on many issues,” the government’s interpretation in this case was “beyond the pale.”
One quibble: Epstein doesn't like it when people call him a "conservative."

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