Graham-Levin Compromise Passes Judiciary Committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee today rejected the Jeff Bingaman amendment on habeas relief for detainees by a vote of 44 - 54. The Graham-Levin amendment was approved 84-14.

I just received a copy of the Amendment. My initial take is that while ithe compromise version is a modest improvement on the original Graham amendment, the Graham-Levin substitute would, like the original, eliminate habeas for Guatanamo detainees, overturn the Rasul decision, and also likely prevent the Supreme Court from ruling on the merits of the Hamdan case.

Kudos to Sen. Dick Durbin, whom I'm told, voted for the Bingaman Amendment and against the compromise.

More later.

< 350 Law Profs Write in Opposition to Graham Amendment | Spain to Probe CIA Ghost Air Flights >
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    Question: Jeralyn, as an active criminal defense attorney, how often do you file habeus corpus petitions? I was under the impression that, however important they may be in theory, habeus petitions are not used very often in practice, except perhaps in capital cases. Is this so? (Disclaimer: this doesn't reflect one way or the other on the value of the Bingham or Graham bills)

    King John: 'You nobles sure you want this habeas stuff in the Magna Carta; pretty superfluous in Real Benign Terms, right? Let us sign off on all the other side agreements but jetison this hand over the body. Minor legalisms will fetter the king in his benificience.' James Ogelthorpe: 'We are sending some of the greatest complainers in the penal colony to South Carolina so we Georgians, godblessKingGeorge, will have more cohesiveness in these borderlands during times of strife.' Senator Graham: 'South Carolinians will think it is alright if our captives have no habeas right; heck, most of the ones we got now barely know about Magna Carta and a millenium of common law based western democracy. A few more votes and we got the golden apple back. Maybe under the new system the president King will grant a few senator Nobles habeas rights, but these captives are less equal; heck, many of them are confused about what their country of origin is. Times have changed since hunter gatherer; we have captured a few of these walking anachronisms. Remember the time I said elections have results; this could be a proof of that brag. Now as you know I take pride in maverickism of the fringe and oppose a healthy cloture rule in the Senate, alghough, sadly, you know, our Caucus of Fourteen seems to have been merely Twelve or Fewer recently, since this Alito affair began to unravel. But, mark my words, I will not step over the line and join Senator Sessions in opposing the *Limits on Interrogation* measure which is attached to the budget reconcilliation package at the present time by the majority vote of the Senate; we'll see whether that stays in. Come on, relinquish a broadly interpreted habeas foundation for western law, and limit our guidlines to, you know, no inhumane methods of information gathering; it is part of the enchilada and US democracy probably can stand losing some weight and survive on that habeas-less part of the enchilada which I propose.' Most of the lawyer Senators sat in hushed silence as Graham concluded his remarks, pondering the possibility that he might have saccharined the Senate sufficiently into sopor that he might have the votes he needs. Ask Minority Leader Reid to schedule time for Sen. Levin to opine on this again in extra time. And Sen. Feingold; a moderate kind of attorney; surely The Honorable Russ Feingold would like to weigh in with some speechmaking about the impact of relinquishing habeas. Russ?