Along with much of English law, the Act was incorporated into the U.S. Constitution, which affirms that “the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended” except in case of rebellion or invasion. In 1961, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the rights guaranteed by this Act were “(c)onsidered by the Founders as the highest safeguard of liberty.”
More specifically, the Constitution provides that no “person (shall) be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law (and) a speedy and public trial” by peers.
The Department of Justice has recently explained that these guarantees are satisfied by internal deliberations in the executive branch, as Jo Becker and Scott Shane reported in The New York Times on May 29. Barack Obama, the constitutional lawyer in the White House, agreed. King John would have nodded with satisfaction.
The underlying principle of “presumption of innocence” has also been given an original interpretation. In the calculus of the president’s “kill list” of terrorists, “all military-age males in a strike zone” are in effect counted as combatants “unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent,” Becker and Shane summarized. Thus post-assassination determination of innocence now suffices to maintain the sacred principle.Read it at AlterNet
This is the merest sample of the dismantling of “the charter of every self-respecting man.”
Noam Chomsky on the Shredding of Our Fundamental Rights and the Common Good
This is exactly what the founders of American fought a revolution against the crown, risking their lives, their honor, and their fortunes to establish. Now we witnessing the trashing it.
The founders recognized that government is necessary but that it should be by the people, of the people, and for the people, and neither arbitrary government nor a government based on privilege.