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Department of Justice seeks new emergency powers

March 21, 2020

  According to this story Donald Trump’s Department of Justice is seeking new emergency powers, among which would be the power to detain American citizens indefinitely. Here is more:

The Justice Department has quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies — part of a push for new powers that comes as the coronavirus spreads through the United States.

Documents reviewed by POLITICO detail the department’s requests to lawmakers on a host of topics, including the statute of limitations, asylum and the way court hearings are conducted.

The move has tapped into a broader fear among civil liberties advocates and Donald Trump’s critics — that the president will use a moment of crisis to push for controversial policy changes. 

In one of the documents, the department proposed that Congress grant the attorney general power to ask the chief judge of any 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.”

The proposal would also grant those top judges broad authority to pause court proceedings during emergencies. It would apply 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 process and proceedings,” according to draft legislative language the department shared with Congress. 

The request raised eyebrows because of its potential implications for habeas corpus –– the constitutional right to appear before a judge after arrest and seek release.

“Not only would it be a violation of that, but it says ‘affecting pre-arrest,’” said Norman L. Reimer, the executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “So that means you could be arrested and never brought before a judge until they decide that the emergency or the civil disobedience is over. I find it absolutely terrifying. Especially in a time of emergency, we should be very careful about granting new powers to the government.”

  Of course the President has already declared a national emergency and there are rumors he is considering a national quarantine using the  National Guard to patrol the streets of America so this would be in addition to that. If any or all of these rumors are true we are entering very dangerous and scary times as once-free Americans.

  It is hard to imagine the Democratic controlled House of Representatives giving Donald Trump this power, although there is a chance because this will doom his chances of reelection and the Democratic President who follows him would love to have this power when he or she declares a National Emergency on gun violence…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

4 Comments leave one →
  1. MaddMedic permalink
    March 21, 2020 7:06 pm

    Never let a crisis go to waste….

    Liked by 1 person


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