constitution_1.jpgLet’s hit the phones this morning, people.  The Habeas Restoration Act is being put forth again — by Sens. Leahy and Dodd, among others — and they are asking for our help.  Please call your Senators this morning and tell them to support Amendment S. 2202 (same text as the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act (S.185) to the DOD Auth bill (HR 1585).  You can call toll free here (H/T to Katymine):

1 (800) 828 – 0498
1 (800) 459 – 1887
1 (800) 614 – 2803
1 (866) 340 – 9281
1 (866) 338 – 1015
1 (877) 851 – 6437

Every single Senator needs to hear from their constituents today.  Word is that Sen. Lindsey Graham has threatened to mount a filibuster of this bill — nice way to stand up for basic human rights, there, Huckleberry — so it is essential that your Senators hear from you today.  Cloture has been filed on the Amendment — so we need 60 votes to move it forward.  Here are some Senators that I’m hearing could use some extra persuasion today, because it looks like the vote on cloture is coming up as early as Wednesday (as in tomorrow):

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT)
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE)
Sen. John Warner (R-VA)
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN)
Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID)
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN)
Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH)
Sen. John Sununu (R-NH)
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR)
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)


Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN)
Sen. Blanche Lincoln  (D-AR)
Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO)
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Some points to make:

— The right of habeas corpus was considered so essential that the Founders wrote it into the Constitution, the only civil liberty enshrined in the Constitution itself.  (More information here.)

— We cannot stand up for human rights in the rest of the world and hypocritically deny a right to a fair trial to people we are holding in US custody.  When a wingnutty staffer says that would be coddling terrorists, remind them that Jose Padilla was recently tried and found guilty in a court of law, and that the United States should stand for something more than simply holding people indefinitely without charges and a review of the evidence fully by an impartial court.  How would they like it if our own American soldiers were treated this way by another nation, for example, because that is exactly what this sort of conduct opens us up to in the future — and why a majority of JAG officers have opposed this course of inaction.

— We should stand up for our values.  We are better than this.  And it is well past time for us to stand up for liberty.

— There is substantial public support for habeas rights.  Open Left has all the details on this, but a substantial majority (a solid 63 percent) of Americans support standing up for the rule of law — not the rule of fear.   The Bush Administration has very little support, and the American public does not trust them to be honest on this issue.  Isn’t it time that America’s politicians listened to their constitutents on this?  Even the WaPo editorial staff understands that this is a huge blemish on the national image — Congress needs to right this wrong.  Now.

We are better than this.  We are better than jailing people in perpetuity without a determination of innocence or guilt.  And we owe a debt, both to our founders and to future generations, to right this profound wrong.  Please call your Senators today and tell them that we expect a vote for the Constitution and for liberty.

UPDATE:  Matt from Sen. Dodd’s campaign points out in the comments that there is a tracking mechanism set up at for people to try and whip count their own Senators.

UPDATE #2:  As kathleen points out, the Webb Amendment is also a fantastic one to support.  Mark Kleiman lays out why here.  Please mention it as well when you call.  Thanks!

UPDATE #3:  I’m hearing that the switchboard is swamped.  You can find direct line numbers for all Senators here.

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com