ROGER FITCH ESQ • THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2011
Congressional fat cats ... Corporate crime and financial defalcation ... Constitutional violations ... Gridlock on judicial and ambassadorial nominations ... Roger Fitch surveys the Washington landscape
Heedless of all this corporate crime and financial defalcation, Congress is busy stripping law courts of jurisdiction over citizens and others the government calls "enemy combatants" due to their "terrorism", although terrorism, like banking, is hardly a military matter.
It's hard to count the ways the National Defense Authorization Act violates the Constitution, but one might start with Article III, Section 2:
"The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed."
That might permit a civilian trial at Guantánamo, except for the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution:
"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed..."
Anyway, military jurisdiction over civilians isn't a given, according to law prof Steve Vladeck.
This latest Pentagon pre-emption of civilian justice is opposed - by the Pentagon, the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, the FBI and the Justice Department.
Japanese-Americans don't think much of it, either, but nothing seems likely to stop Congressshort of a presidential veto.
One senator wants to bring back torture.
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