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