Those Pesky Judges II
More encouraging news today:
A federal judge has rejected former Attorney General John Ashcroft's attempt to block a lawsuit by claiming that the threat of terrorism exempts the government from following peacetime regulations.Drat. You mean 9/11 didn't change everything? I thought we could ignore the Constitution whenever we wanted now...
Justice Department lawyers wrote on Ashcroft's behalf that the FBI needed detainees isolated from the outside world as the bureau frantically tried to find al-Qaida cells in the United States in the months after Sept. 11, making the appeals process and its limits on solitary confinement an unnecessary burden.
"Regulations written in peacetime cannot circumscribe the government's discretion at a time of national emergency from foreign threats," they wrote.
Gleeson singled out that argument for particularly harsh criticism Wednesday in a 70-page decision upholding most of the charges in the lawsuit.
"This proposition, which suggests that, as a matter of law, constitutional and statutory rights must be suspended during times of crisis, is supported neither by statute nor the Constitution," he wrote.