Steve Vladeck argues that the Bush-McCain Torture Bill is worse than the Alien and Sedition Act — because it shields itself from judicial review.
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by Michael Froomkin
Laurie Silvers & Mitchell Rubenstein Distinguished Professor of Law
University of Miami School of Law
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This bill is our time’s Fugitive Slave Act. A gross immoral ‘compromise’ which will only bring terrible things to the nation.
Not true entirely. The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed in 1798. Marbury vs. Madison was decided in 1803. I don’t think prior to that decision that the legislature fully conceived the possibility that a law might be declared unconstitutional. Had they known, it’s not clear how the Alien and Sedition Acts would have been structured. It’s worse in the sense that knowing this is an insult to the Constitution, they put specific language in it to keep it from being reviewed.
Fotunately the US congress cannot pardon crimes in foreign jurisdictions.
Henry Kissenger has been told that he risks being tried as a war criminal if he ever leaves the US. The same will soon be true of the members of this administration.
The torture itself has been taking place in (currently unknown) foreign jurisdictions. While the Bush administration would not extradite its members they can hardly expect to rely on future administrations to have the same concerns for their skins.
Another risk that they cannot avoid is being required to testify in Congress. They will continue to tell the same half truths (i.e. lies) to the committees and perjure themselves. If they don’t perjure themselves they will incriminate themselves, see extradition.
These people are arrogant and sloppy. They have paid no attention to the law for six years. It is very unlikely that they will remember to pardon themselves for all their crimes.