President Bush is pushing Congress to put the agreement into law before adjourning for the midterm elections, but Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said Sunday he "vigorously" disagrees with the habeas corpus provision of the bill.
The provision would allow legal counsel and a day in court to only those detainees selected by the Pentagon for prosecution. Other terror suspects could be held indefinitely without a hearing.
"The courts have traditionally been open to make sure that individual rights are protected, and that is fundamental," Specter said on CNN's "Late Edition. "And the Constitution says when you can suspend the writ of habeas corpus, in time of rebellion or invasion. And we don't have either. So that has to be changed, in my opinion."
Of course, Specter being Specter, he will ultimately conclude that the only acceptable resolution for this kind of affront to the Constitution is to... rewrite the law to make it retroactively legal. I have to wonder if his problem is truly with the Bush administration's contempt for the law, or with the law's narrow-minded reluctance to accommodate Bush's brilliance.
Specter is like a DA whose genius idea to eliminate all crime is to simply make everything legal. Problem solved!