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Habeas Birthday Blogging and Join the June Action!

Gabe Rottman,
Legislative Counsel,
ACLU Washington Legislative Office
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June 18, 2007

The biggest news last week was, by far, the 792nd anniversary of the Magna Carta signing on Friday, which many historians consider the first act in the evolution of habeas corpus as a check on arbitrary action by the executive branch. ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero posted this superb historical recap on the Huffington Post, which made the key point that habeas was created to limit the king’s power in times of war. Findhabeas also posted on the birthday, and did a piece questioning the premise that modern counterterrorism is fundamentally different than any previous national security crises, and therefore requires the use of ethically compromised tactics and the skirting of many civil liberties protections.

And, last, we’re all gearing up for the ACLU Day of Action in Washington, DC on June 26th. I plan to be there, which is reason enough for you to be there.