Q&A Friday #43: What Constitutional Rights Should Be Maintained In A Time Of War?

Question: “What Constitutional rights (if any) should be retained in times of national emergency? If none, how would you describe the purpose of the Constitution? Do you think this is consistent with the Founders’ intentions?” — cburst

Answer: You wrote the question like you expected me to say, “none.” The answer is all constitutional rights should be retained — and all of them have been during the war on terror.

Personally, I think the Bush administration has made great efforts to safeguard civil liberties and not overstep their Constitutional bounds and if anything, they’ve probably been too cautious in taking aggressive steps to insure our security (See their reluctance to throw reporters in jail for contempt in order to force them to give up the sources of national security leaks).

The only reason we have so many “Constitutional complaints” about the war on terror is that a lot of liberals seem to believe that because they prefer a particular policy, then ipso facto, it should have the force of Constitutional law behind it. Moreover, because we’ve got 4 liberals and a moderate on the Supreme Court, they sometimes get away with it.

However, the Constitution is what it is, not what people wish it to be. If liberals would accept that and try to win their battles in the political arena, instead of constantly trying to find activist judges who’ll bend the rules in their favor, the country would be much better off.

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