RealNews

Justice Breyer discusses war on terror, civil rights

Lawyers and judges must ensure that civil liberties are protected in the government’s efforts to prevent terrorist attacks, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said Monday. Breyer urged attorneys to question government anti-terrorism practices, including the lack of access to legal counsel for some people detained for questioning. “The Constitution always matters, perhaps particularly so in times of emergency,” Breyer said in remarks prepared for delivery before the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. By searching for alternative methods that avoid “constitutional mistakes,” lawyers, judges and security officials help the government avoid extreme positions that the Constitution doesn’t matter or that security emergencies don’t matter, Breyer said. Several court cases contend the Bush administration has gone too far in the war on terror, both in tracking and locking up suspects following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and in denying legal representation to Afghan War fighters detained at a U.S. naval base in Cuba. Full Story

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