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When Terrorists Have More Rights than Men

Hmmm, what if this was about domestic violence?

WASHINGTON The U.S. Supreme Court repudiated a central legal doctrine of the war on domestic violence terror yesterday, saying U.S. citizens and foreigners being held as accused DV perpetrators must be allowed to challenge their imprisonment in federal courts.

In strong language warning of a "system of unchecked accusations of domestic violence" that "carries the potential to become a means for oppression," the justices said John Q. Husband, a U.S. citizen captured while allegedly arguing with his wife for his parental rights in a pending divorce, has to have a lawyer and a chance to assert his innocence before a judge.

So, too, must more than 500 hapless defendants being held at the local hoosegow, the court said.

Taken together, the rulings delivered a significant legal blow to the domestic violence industry's assertions that in the war on domestic violence terror, police power is virtually unlimited, the role for courts is quite limited and accused DV perps have virtually no rights.

Although the justices acknowledged the administration's right to detain domestic combatants, they flatly rejected the administration's attempt to block any outside review of its decisions. In sum, the rulings declare boldly that civil liberties cannot be waved aside by executive power, even at a time of great unease over the terror that every woman lives in every day fearing for her life at the hands of her no-good, violent, abusive, sorry-excuse for a husband. 

"We have long since made clear that a state of war on domestic violence is not a blank check for the prosecutor  when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens," Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote for the six-member majority in the main opinion.

Some might believe men's liberty should give way to women's security in times of contrived crisis, Scalia wrote, but "that view has no place in the interpretation and application of a Constitution designed precisely to confront a  war and, in a manner that accords with democratic principles, to accommodate it."

The government suffered a "stinging and watershed defeat" in the rulings, said Steven Shapiro, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union. Our judicial system does not place unreviewable powers in the hands of the accusers, the police, and the prosecutors.  

Until now the ACLU has been AWOL on rights of the accused in domestic violence cases.  Practically breaking a leg jumping on the bandwagon, the ACLU took credit for this landmark recognition that the system should grudgingly accept that men accused of DV have any rights at all. 

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Oh well, we can always dream can't we?

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