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April 29, 2004

What "it" looks like

Dahlia Lithwick's coverage of yesterday's SCOTUS hearings of the Hamdi and Padilla cases is nothing short of excellent. And Hamdi's public defender, Frank Dunham, is my new hero. You need to read the article, listen to clips, and read Fred Korematsu's amicus brief that references the experience of Japanese Americans interned in WWII.

Lithwick starts with the question that should be keeping us all up at night:

How you feel about the indefinite military detentions of Yaser Esam Hamdi and Jose Padilla will turn largely on what you think life will look like when it starts. By "it," I mean the moment at which fundamental liberties are curtailed by well-meaning governments and the legal system becomes unable to offer relief. Never having seen "it" happen in my lifetime, I'm hardly an expert. German Jews who survived the Holocaust will tell you that it's hard to know at exactly which instant you've crossed the line into "it."

Posted by jay at April 29, 2004 10:02 AM | TrackBack
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