Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
[Home] [Former Republican] [About the Authors] [RSS Feed] [Pointless Vanity]

"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Day Liberty Perished

posted by Jazz at 10/17/2004 05:56:00 AM

NOTE: YOU ARE VIEWING AN ARCHIVED POST AT RUNNING SCARED'S OLD BLOG. PLEASE VISIT THE NEW BLOG HERE.

I don't know if this will stand up under appeal or not, but the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has recently made a ruling that will impact privacy and personal liberty in a positive way. In Georgia, a group of protestors has been preparing for a demonstration against a United States training camp for Latin American soldiers. Local authorities had insisted that every protester be made to pass through a metal detector prior to the event.

Judge Gerald Tjoflat, writing for the three judge panel, authored one of the more stirring decisions I've read in a long time:

"We cannot simply suspend or restrict civil liberties until the War of Terror is over, because the War on Terror is unlikely ever to be truly over. September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country."

City officials in Columbus, Georgia, contended the searches were needed because of the elevated risk of terrorism, but the court threw out that argument, saying it would "eviscerate the Fourth Amendment."


I was unaware of this training camp and the attendant protestors, and I don't know enough of the facts to say whether I agree with the activists or the authorities in this case. However, I have become increasingly concerned about the short sheeting of personal privacy under the Bush administration, particularly since the attacks of September, 2001, and it's good to see this subject up for discussion at a national level.