“DOJ Wants to Suspend Certain Constitutional Rights During Coronavirus Emergency”
“The Department of Justice has secretly asked Congress for the ability to detain arrested people “indefinitely” in addition to other powers that one expert called “terrifying””
- Editor’s note: Is suspension of the election coming next?
“The Trump Department of Justice has asked Congress to craft legislation allowing chief judges to indefinitely hold people without trial and suspend other constitutionally-protected rights during coronavirus and other emergencies, according to a report by Politico’s Betsy Woodruff Swan.
“While the asks from the Department of Justice will likely not come to fruition with a Democratically-controlled House of Representatives, they demonstrate how much this White House has a frightening disregard for rights enumerated in the Constitution.
“The DOJ has requested Congress allow any chief judge of a district court to pause court proceedings “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation,” according to draft language obtained by Politico. This would be applicable to “any statutes or rules of procedure otherwise affecting pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings and all civil processes and proceedings.” They justify this by saying currently judges can pause judicial proceedings in an emergency but that new legislation would allow them to apply it “in a consistent manner.”
“But the Constitution grants citizens habeas corpus which gives arrestees the right to appear in front of a judge and ask to be released before trial. Enacting legislation like the DOJ wants would essentially suspend habeas corpus indefinitely until the emergency ended. Further, DOJ asked Congress to suspend the statute of limitations on criminal investigations and civil proceedings during the emergency until a year after it ended,” by Peter Wade, Rolling Stone. Read more
“Coronavirus could be used by authoritarian leaders as excuse to undermine democracy, experts warn”
“Worries coronavirus could reshape politics by eroding democracy in some countries”
“Leaders facing critical leadership challenges such as Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel and Romania’s prime minister Ludovic Orban found their political problems vanishing, at least temporarily.
“‘It was a vote carried under extraordinary circumstances, where there was no room for opposition or debate,’ Vlad Alexandrescu, a Romanian parliamentarian, said of an emergency vote on Saturday to give the embattled premier full powers.
“Mr Netanyahu, meanwhile, was spared the indignity of appearing in court on Tuesday across three corruption cases after his hearings have been postponed for two months due to coronavirus restrictions on large gatherings,”: by Borzou Daragahi, UK’s Independent. Read more
Durham Probe Expected to Conclude in Summer, May Be Delayed by Coronavirus Outbreak