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Justice Deformed: New York Times On War And The Constitution

The New York Times has published an editorial severely critical of secret detentions, military tribunals and the role of the courts in upholding the rule of law.

Text of New York Times editorial.

Justice Deformed: War and the Constitution

December 2, 2001

The inconvenient thing about the American system of justice is that we are usually challenged to protect it at the most inopportune moments. Right now the country wants very much to be supportive of the war on terrorism, and is finding it hard to summon up much outrage over military tribunals, secret detentions or the possible mistreatment of immigrants from the Mideast. There is a strong temptation not to notice. That makes it even more important to speak up.

After the brutal attacks of Sept. 11, the Bush administration began building a parallel criminal justice system, decree by decree, largely removed from the ordinary oversight of Congress and the courts. In this shadow system, people can be rounded up by the government and held at undisclosed locations for indefinite periods of time. It is a system that allows the government to conduct warrantless wiretaps of conversations between prisoners and their lawyers, a system in which defendants can be tried and condemned to death by secret military tribunals run according to procedural rules that bear scant resemblance to normal military justice. [Read more…]

Impeachments In The United States 1798-1998

The table shows impeachments in the United States since 1798.

The list includes presidential, executive, congressional and judicial impeachments.

Impeachments in the United States 1798-1998
No. Official Office Year Impeached Outcome
1 William Blount Senator (TN) 1798 Charges Dismissed
2 John Pickering District Judge (NH) 1803 Convicted
3 Samuel Chase S.Ct. Justice 1804 Acquitted
4 James Peck District Judge (MO) 1826 Acquitted
5 West Humphreys District Judge (TN) 1862 Convicted
6 Andrew Johnson President 1867 Acquitted
7 William Belknap Secretary of War 1876 Resigned/Acquitted
8 Charles Swayne District Judge (FL) 1903 Acquitted
9 Robert Archbald Court of Appeals (3d Cir) 1912 Convicted
10 George English District Judge (IL) 1926 Resigned
11 Harold Louderback District Judge (CA) 1932 Acquitted
12 Halsted Ritter District Judge (FL) 1936 Convicted
13 Harry Claiborne District Judge (NV) 1986 Convicted
14 Alcee Hastings * District Judge (FL) 1988 Convicted
15 Walter Nixon District Judge (MS) 1988 Convicted
16 Bill Clinton President 1998 Acquitted

* Alcee Hastings is now a member of the House of Representatives, representing Florida’s 23rd District. His web site is here.