Constitutional Rights


Our constitutional rights - inherent, express and implied - are the tool intended to protect the people and facilitate the Rule of Law.  But what happens when those rights are "legislatively" or secretly eroded?

Does a perceived threat to the nation's security warrant overriding The Rule? The Bush administration believes it does.  But the system is slowly working.  Each time one of the administration's over-reaching policies hits the Supreme Court, it has been overturned.  Once again we learn that the judiciary are the gatekeepers.  It is essential that the legal community keeps a vigilant approach in order to prevent a repeat of the horrific activities of Nazi Germany.  The similarities between what has happened in the United States since 9/11 and what happened in Germany from 1930 - 1938 are startling.


WWW  Video  and Docs

Spying On The Home Front

PBS's FRONTLINE asks "In a permanent war against a hidden enemy, how far has the government gone in hunting terrorists by watching us?"

"9/11 has indelibly altered America in ways that people are now starting to earnestly question: not only perpetual orange alerts, barricades and body frisks at the airport, but greater government scrutiny of people's records and electronic surveillance of their communications. The watershed, officials tell FRONTLINE, was the government's shift after 9/11 to a strategy of pre-emption at home -- not just prosecuting terrorists for breaking the law, but trying to find and stop them before they strike.

President Bush described his anti-terrorist measures as narrow and targeted, but a FRONTLINE investigation has found that the National Security Agency (NSA) has engaged in wiretapping and sifting Internet communications of millions of Americans; the FBI conducted a data sweep on 250,000 Las Vegas vacationers, and along with more than 50 other agencies, they are mining commercial-sector data banks to an unprecedented degree."



Report on Retroactive Immunity

Report from the Congressional Research Service on "Retroactive Immunity Provided by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008"



Right to Habeus Corpus

The Boumediene et al v. Bush decision - SCOTUS



Federalist Society Debate on Boumediene (Habeus Rights)


Andrew McBride Partner - Wiley Rein LLP
Timothy Lynch - Cato Institute - Director, Project on Criminal Justice
Bradford Berenson - Partner - Sidley Austin LLP
Marty Lederman - Visiting Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center



Ensuring Access to Justice for Detainees in the ‘War on Terror’

2008 ACS National Convention - This 1 1/2 hour discussion occurred the day after the Supreme Court ruled on Habeus for Detainees.


Judge Marsha Berzon U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
James Carafano, Assistant Director, Senior Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
Joanne Mariner, Director of Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program, Human Rights Watch
Alberto Mora, V.P. and General Counsel, International Division of Wal-Mart, Inc.
Deborah Pearlstein, LAPA Visiting Scholar, Princeton University
Benjamin Wittes, Fellow & Research Director in Public Law, The Brookings Institute


Military Commissions Act

An ACS Issue Brief
Guantanamo is Here: The Military Commissions Act and Noncitizen Vulnerability by Prof. Muneer I. Ahmad - American University Washington School of Law


Military Tribunals

A Call to Protect Civilian Justice: Beware the Creep of Military Tribunals.         Prof. Anthony F. Renzo, Vermont Law School

An ACS Issue Brief


Preserving Rule of Law in America's Prisons

Preserving the Rule of Law in America's Prisons: The Case for Amending the Prison Litigation Reform Act.  (An ACS Issue Brief)
Prof. Margo Schlanger Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
Prof Giovanna Shay Robert M Cover Clinical Teaching Fellow, Yale Law School / Western New England College School of Law.