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    So Now It’s Doggiegate?
    April 27, 2012 by Chip Wood






    In Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842), the U.S. Supreme Court determined that personal liberty laws were unconstitutional. The court held that the laws interfered with the Fugitive Slave Act and that while states were not compelled to enforce the federal law, they could not override it with other enactments.

    The Prigg decision caused several Northern states to amend their laws, which specified that law enforcement officials and jurists refrain from doing anything about runaway slaves. The only other option left to slave catchers was to kidnap runaways, and then either return them to their owners, or force them to appear before federal judges who were not held to state statutes.



    Habeas corpus

    Habeas corpus (play /ˌhbəs ˈkɔrpəs/; Latin: "may you have the body") is a writ, or legal action, through which a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention, that is, detention lacking sufficient cause or evidence. The remedy can be sought by the prisoner or by another person coming to their aid. Habeas corpus originated in the English legal system to assist wealthy landowners, but it is now available in many nations. It has historically been an important legal instrument safeguarding individual freedom of certain individuals against arbitrary state action. It is a writ requiring a person to be brought before a judge.

    A writ of habeas corpus, also known as the Great Writ, is a summons with the force of a court order; it is addressed to the custodian (a prison official for example) and demands that a prisoner be taken before the court, and that the custodian present proof of authority, allowing the court to determine whether the custodian has lawful authority to detain the person. If the custodian does not have authority to detain the prisoner, then they must be released from custody. The prisoner, or another person acting on his or her behalf, may petition the court, or a judge, for a writ of habeas corpus. One reason for the writ to be sought by a person other than the prisoner is that the detainee might be held incommunicado. Most civil law jurisdictions provide a similar remedy for those unlawfully detained, but this is not always called "habeas corpus".[1] For example, in some Spanish-speaking nations, the equivalent remedy for unlawful imprisonment is the amparo de libertad ('protection of freedom').

    Habeas corpus has certain limitations. It is technically only a procedural remedy; it is a guarantee against any detention that is forbidden by law, but it does not necessarily protect other rights, such as the entitlement to a fair trial. So if an imposition such as internment without trial is permitted by the law then habeas corpus may not be a useful remedy. Furthermore, in many countries, the process may be suspended due to a national emergency.

    The right to petition for a writ of habeas corpus has nonetheless long been celebrated as the most efficient safeguard of the liberty of the subject. The jurist Albert Venn Dicey wrote that the British Habeas Corpus Acts "declare no principle and define no rights, but they are for practical purposes worth a hundred constitutional articles guaranteeing individual liberty".[2]

    The writ of habeas corpus is one of what are called the "extraordinary", "common law", or "prerogative writs", which were historically issued by the English courts in the name of the monarch to control inferior courts and public authorities within the kingdom. The most common of the other such prerogative writs are quo warranto, prohibito, mandamus, procedendo, and certiorari. The due process for such petitions is not simply civil or criminal, because they incorporate the presumption of non-authority. The official who is the respondent has the burden to prove his authority to do or not do something. Failing this, the court must decide for the petitioner, who may be any person, not just an interested party. This differs from a motion in a civil process in which the movant must have standing, and bears the burden of proof.



    Under Discussion

    The Rot Can No Longer Be Contained
    April 23, 2012 by Bob Livingston 




    The personal liberty laws were a series of laws passed by several U.S. states in the North in response to the Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 and 1850.


    The laws were designed to protect free blacks, freedmen, and fugitive slaves by effectively nullifying the Fugitive Slave Law without actually invoking the controversial doctrine of nullification. This was done through provisions such as forbidding the use of state jails to imprison alleged fugitives, to prevent state officials from enforcing the strict law, and compelling slave bounty hunters to furnish corroborative proof that his captive was a fugitive, as well as according the accused the rights to trial by jury and appeal. Laws in some states made it easier to extradite a runaway if slave status were confirmed.





    Posse Comitatus Act

    The Posse Comitatus Act is the United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385, original at 20 Stat. 152) that was passed on June 18, 1878, after the end of Reconstruction. Its intent (in concert with the Insurrection Act of 1807) was to limit the powers of local governments and law enforcement agencies in using federal military personnel to enforce the laws of the land. Contrary to popular belief, the Act does not prohibit members of the Army from exercising state law enforcement, police, or peace officer powers that maintain "law and order"; it simply requires that any authority to do so must exist with the United States Constitution or Act of Congress. In this way, most use of the Army and the Air Force at the direction of the President does not offend the statute, even though it may be problematic for other reasons (politically).

    The statute only addresses the US Army and, since 1956, the US Air Force. It does not refer to, and thus does not restrict or apply to, the National Guard under state authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within its home state or in an adjacent state if invited by that state's governor (in its federal capacity, the National Guard forms part of the Army or Air Force of the United States). The Navy and Marine Corps are prohibited by a Department of Defense directive (self-regulation), but not by the Act itself.[1][2] Although it is a military force,[3] the U.S. Coast Guard, which now operates under the Department of Homeland Security, is also not covered by the Posse Comitatus Act.


    The Lessons Of The Secret Service Scandal

    April 26, 2012

    Wayne Allyn Root says the Government Services Administration scandal shows why our government is bankrupt: It’s because government employees are spending other people’s money.





    During the American Civil War, some of the Northern states agreed to repeal these bills if it meant that all Confederate states would rejoin the Union. The Rhode Island state legislature repealed their law in January 1861 in hopes of preserving the Union.

    During the American Civil War, some of the Northern states agreed to repeal these bills if it meant that all Confederate states would rejoin the Union. The Rhode Island state legislature repealed their law in January 1861 in hopes of preserving the Union.

    Due process of law

    Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects individual persons from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due-process violation, which offends against the rule of law.

    Due process has also been frequently interpreted as limiting laws and legal proceedings (see substantive due process), so that judges - instead of legislators - may define and guarantee fundamental fairness, justice, and liberty. This interpretation has proven controversial, and is analogous to the concepts of natural justice, and procedural justice used in various other jurisdictions. This interpretation of due process is sometimes expressed as a command that the government must not be unfair to the people or abuse them physically.

    Due process is not used in contemporary English law, though two similar concepts are natural justice (which generally applies only to decisions of administrative agencies and some types of private bodies like trade unions) and the British constitutional concept of the rule of law as articulated by A. V. Dicey and others.[1] However, neither concept lines up perfectly with the American conception of due process, which, as explained below, presently contains many implied rights not found in the ancient or modern concepts of due process in England.[2]

    Due process developed from clause 39 of the Magna Carta in England. When English and American law gradually diverged, due process was not upheld in England, but did become incorporated in the Constitution of the United States.