Monday, February 12, 2007

Chris Dodd Gets Props

I recently proposed a Seven-point Plan I'd like to see the Democratic presidential candidates collectively endorse to demonstrate their commitment to returning the executive branch to the limits of constitutional authority. Well, tomorrow, Chris Dodd is going to introduce legislation into the Senate that seems to get the ball rolling. According to his website, the Effective Terrorist Prosecution Act:

  • Restores Habeas Corpus protections to detainees
  • Narrows the definition of unlawful enemy combatant to individuals who directly participate in hostilities against the United States who are not lawful combatants
  • Bars information gained through coercion from being introduced as evidence in trials
  • Empowers military judges to exclude hearsay evidence they deem to be unreliable
  • Authorizes the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces to review decisions by the Military commissions
  • Limits the authority of the President to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions and makes that authority subject to congressional and judicial oversight
  • Provides for expedited judicial review of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 to determine the constitutionally of its provisions

The Act will basically undo the most egregious measures of the Military Commissions Act passed last year. As TPM Muckraker pointed out, that law passed the Senate with 65 votes, so this is far from a done deal, either to make it out of the Senate or to clear a veto. But it's a good first step in the right direction.

Posted by Judah in:  Politics   Domestic Policy   

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