The ACLU has launched a new campaign styled after missing-persons ads: FindHabeas.com. You can friend Mr. Corpus on MySpace, download a buddy icon, make your own t-shirts and stickers, sign a petition to Congress, and send postcards from the past (a reminder of how long he’s been around).
Habeas corpus isn’t a fancy legal term, it’s the freedom from being thrown in prison illegally, with no help, no end in sight and with no due process. No president should ever be given the sole power to call someone an enemy, wave his hand, and lock them away indefinitely. The Founders made the president subject to the rule of law. They rejected dungeons and torture, and instead chose due process and fairness.
The concept of habeas corpus is a centuries-old legal procedure that is even older than the United States. The first recorded use of the phrase habeas corpus dates back to 1305, to the reign of England’s King Edward I.
So when the 109th Congress passed and the President signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and, in a specific context, effectively abolished the writ of habeas corpus for certain people, they were turning away from a centuries-old tradition that is a cornerstone of our Constitution, and our freedom.
– Find Habeas: About habeas corpus
Check out the site and spread the word. This may seem like just some legal wrangling but it’s actually fundamental to a functioning democracy!