William Haynes Judicial Confirmation Hearing Begins
As General Counsel of the Department of Defense, William Haynes was a principal architect of policies that led to the abuse of detainees in Guantanamo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush has nominated him for a seat on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold confirmation hearings starting today, July 11th.
Human Rights First has a webpage dedicated to concern about his nomination.
In additon, more than 20 military leaders have written a letter(pdf) opposing his nomination.
More than Twenty retired generals, admirals and other U.S. military leaders signed a letter to Senators Arlen Spector (R-PA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) expressing concerns over the nomination of William Haynes to the federal bench. "What compels us to take this unusual step is our profound concern about the role Mr. Haynes played in establishing - over the objections of uniformed military lawyers - detention and interrogation policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo which led not only to the abuse of detainees in U.S. custody but to a dangerous abrogation of the military's long-standing commitment to the rule of law," the letter says.
Human Rights First's statement about Haynes is here.
Nominations do not get much worse than this. Haynes does not come anywhere close to the commitment to fundamental rights and the principle of separation of powers that we all expect from the federal courts. He would be a poster boy on the 4th Circuit for denying the rule of law, and he should not be confirmed.
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