Conservatives for Justice.

I was quite critical of conservatives who have reacted hysterically to the trial of the 9/11 suspects, but it's important to point out that there are some conservatives who are doing just the opposite. Sam Stein reports that the conservative Constitution Project has put out a joint statement with Human Rights First supporting Obama's decision to prosecute in civilian courts, opposing indefinite detention of terrorism suspects, and advocating for an approach that will "preserve national security without resorting to sweeping and radical departures from an American constitutional tradition." The signatories include Grover Norquist, David Keene, and Bob Barr.

We, the undersigned, urge Congress and the President to support a policy for detention, treatment and trial of suspected terrorists that is consistent with U.S. treaty obligations and constitutional principles. As it moves to close Guantanamo and develop policies for handling terrorism suspects going forward, the government should rely upon our established, traditional system of justice. We are confident that the government can preserve national security without resorting to sweeping and radical departures from an American constitutional tradition that has served us effectively for over two centuries.

For what it's worth, the above is a very small-c "conservative" statement--deferential to tradition, opposed to inventing new institutions to replace old ones that work.


-- A. Serwer

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