Monday, April 23, 2012

What rule of law?

From, you guessed it, Glenn Greenwald:

For the last several years, Padilla, represented by the ACLU, has been attempting to hold accountable six Bush officials responsible for his torture by suing them for violations of his Constitutional rights. But, needless to say, the Obama DOJ — led by the President who, when he announced his candidacy, proclaimed that “the era of Scooter Libby justice will be over” — has insisted that, unless Congress explicitly decrees otherwise, these officials are immune from lawsuits even when they knowingly authorize the torture of an American citizen on U.S. soil. And federal courts — also needless to say — have thus far accepted that claim and barred Padilla from suing. Today, the ACLU filed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review these dismissals, and it’s worth highlight a couple parts of that brief. Here, for instance, is the question which the ACLU is asking the Supreme Court to answer:

Question presented: Whether federal officials responsible for the torture of an American citizen on American soil may be sued for damages under the Constitution?

In what kind of country is that even a question? Even more so, in what kind of country do courts answer that question in the negative, as two separate American courts thus far have? As the ACLU explained, it is literally difficult to imagine a more extreme expression of full-scale immunity for government officials than shielding them even when they engage in conduct this patently illegal

Read the whole thing. Though if you care about the rule of law it's depressing, especially if you supported Obama in large part because of his promise to restore it.

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