Thursday :: Jun 7, 2007

Habeas passes committee

by Erin Alecto

This found via Digby:

The Senate Judiciary Committee just voted for the Specter/Leahy habeas restoration bill. The committee sent it to the floor with no amendments, no debate and on almost a party line vote (with the GOP sponsor, Senator Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania voting in favor).

Kudos to all the Democratic senators who showed up and waited for a quorum (critical mass for a vote); Senator Feinstein came in just under the buzzer.

Senators voting aye: Leahy (D-Vt.), Specter (R-Pa.), Kennedy (D-Ma.), Biden (D-Del.), Kohl (D-Wis.), Feinstein (D-Cal.), Feingold (D-Wis.), Schumer (D-N.Y.), Durbin (D-Ill.), Cardin (D-Md.), Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

Senators voting nay: all the other Republicans (Hatch, Grassley, Kyl, Sessions, Graham, Cornyn, Brownback, Coburn).

Though far from the comprehensive legislation needed to either close Gitmo and transfer the detainees into secure proceedings in civilian courts, or provide the detainees with a full and fair opportunity to challenge the grounds for their detentions, S. 185 is a crucial piece of lawmaking.

It signals to the White House and the Republican minority in Congress that this is a real issue, and that the quick and dirty passage of the MCA in the final days of the GOP-controlled 109th Congress was ill-advised and somewhat ham-handed.

As Digby says, the party-line vote shows how little regard the Republicans have for the rule of law and constitutional rights. I'll be curious to see how this fares in Congress.

Erin Alecto :: 1:45 PM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!