Article 1 Section 9 and Indefinite Detention

Alright, after a little time off  its time to get back to the Constitution. Picking up where we left off, Section 9.

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

Now I’m not completely sure, but I think this deals with immigration and transporting slaves to America. It reads like this in plain speak;

‘The Migration or Importation of such persons as any of the States(capitalized because they’re sovereign) think is right to let in, cannot be stopped by Congress before 1808, but they can levy a import tax of 10$ a person.’

That’s how I read that one, now onto Habeas Corpus.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

A lot of people don’t know the definition of Habeas Corpus so here you go…

ha·be·as cor·pus [hey-bee-uhs kawr-puhs]

Noun Law

a writ requiring a person to be brought before a judge or court, especially for investigation of a restraint of the person’s liberty, used as a protection against illegal imprisonment.
The Constitution says habeas corpus is a privilege that shall not be suspended, but the later ratified Sixth Amendment says ‘speed trials’. Isn’t going before a judge guaranteed now? If its a criminal trial, yes. Which is probably why the push for military tribunals in the Bush Administration. Loophole.
Here’s another one, in the case of rebellion or invasion the safety of the public may require it. I don’t like this, I’m not one who holds the Constitution in the same esteem as the Bible or other Holy Text. And with clever word twisting you can “justify” imprisoning people indefinitely. Lincoln did it in the War of Northern Aggression. The States have the right to secede, nothing in the Constitution says otherwise so the 10th Amendment allows it. Lincoln called it rebellion, and started tossing dissidents and citizens in jail that lived north of the Mason-Dixon line. Along with citizens of the Confederate States of America. He can also justify it by the term “invasion”, George W. Bush did, and Obama hasn’t reinstated it yet.
Limited government politicians maybe ill at ease with suspending it, but the big government statists we have now, have no problem with it. Next week we’ll continue on Section 9.
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