Wednesday, November 23, 2005
  Jose Padilla and the Supreme Court
By now everyone has heard that "dirty bomber" Jose Padilla is no longer being held as an enemy combatant; he has been released to civil authorities to be charged with conspiracy to kill American's overseas. (No mention is made of the alleged dirty bomb that has become synonmous with Padilla's name.)

One can't help but wonder how the government can swear up and down for three years that this man is an enemy combatant and should have no rights to meet with his legal representation, to be charged and see, or even worse, challenge, the evidence against him, to ask for bail or judicial review, and then just decide to reverse their decision. So, what...they were wrong these past three years?? They made a mistake that cost him three years of his life? What if they hadn't changed their minds? Without any judicial review or process by which an "enemy combatant" can challenge his or her status, it's totally conceivable that they could have held a potentially innocent man for dozens of years. The case of Captain Yee comes to mind...

Many commentators are speculating the sudden swing had to do with the government's fears that they would lose a Supreme Court case designed to test the government's power to strip away rights guaranteed in the constitution from an American citizen.

"Today's move is an attempt to take this action away from the Supreme Court so that the [government] can continue to exercise these powers, maybe not against Padilla but against other Americans in the next few years," said Timothy Lynch, director of the Cato Institute's Project on Criminal Justice. "They saw this case moving to the Supreme Court and, in my view, they came to the conclusion that the Supreme Court was going to reject this theory and say that these powers the president was asserting are illegal and violate the bill of rights."

One hopes the move fails, and that the Supreme Court delivers their verdict which was expected at the end of next week. Certainly the government's glib flip-flopping on Padilla's status ought to give the Court plenty of reason to issue a verdict, especially if it was going to rule that the government does not have the power to strip citizens of their due process rights.

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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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