Here we go. Politico is reporting that the Department of Justice is seeking authority to detain people without trial, which goes against one of the cornerstones of our constitutional rights.
The Justice Department has quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies — part of a push for new powers that comes as the coronavirus spreads through the United States.
Documents reviewed by POLITICO detail the department’s requests to lawmakers on a host of topics, including the statute of limitations, asylum and the way court hearings are conducted. POLITICO also reviewed and previously reported on documents seeking the authority to extend deadlines on merger reviews and prosecutions.
The DOJ is not denying the report:
A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment on the documents.
There’s a lot to be said here. First, one of the more famous cases where the federal government committed a similar act was when Abraham Lincoln rescinded habeas corpus rights during the Civil War. I mean, that turned out OK. For most people.
Secondly, there’s gonna be a lot of people screaming tyranny about this, but the founders fully expected that in times of crisis there might be reason to revoke some fundamental civil rights for the common good. Now, that does not mean that we can’t remain vigilant about our rights, we absolutely have to be demanding that regular order be established after the crisis is over. But make no mistake, we are in a crisis.
In fact, this is the way it SHOULD work. Most of the population can SEE that there’s a crisis, we know people who are suffering because of the epidemic. It’s not out of the question that the government might commit to such drastic measures. If it were out of the question, if there was no widespread acceptance that there really IS an emergency, then enough people could speak out against it to spur political action. But polls show that a majority of people accept what Trump has done in response to the pandemic. So there we are.
Still, it is better that there has been a run on guns and an expansion of the people believing in the second amendment, just in case…