Iraqi and American democracy
SLevinson at law.utexas.edu
Mon Jun 13 07:06:58 PDT 2005
Or consider another possibility: The United States is not seriously faced with a threat to its very existence. And the United States professes to be committed to individual rights. Iraq, on the other hand, IS faced with a threat to its very existence, and it is part of a culture in which highly coercive interrogation (or torture) is expected of truly "serious" countries. So we should cut Iraq some slack while expecting the US to live up to its professed ideals (including, of course, the Constitution of the United States and international treaties which, until specifically abrogated, are "the law of the land" under Article VI.
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu on behalf of Mark Graber
Sent: Mon 6/13/2005 9:02 AM
To: conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: RE: Iraqi and American democracy
Consider one reply to the below, a version of which is common made as to why the United States might justifiably have different hate speech policies than Germany. Given the long history of American freedom, there is little risk that a license to torture under extremely rare circumstances will be abused. Given Iraqi history, however, it is best to ban the practice altogether. I should emphasize that I am not defending this position as correct (I think it wrong), but merely as coherent.
Mark A. Graber
>>> "Sanford Levinson" <SLevinson at law.utexas.edu> 06/12/05 10:47AM >>>
Or consider the following, which is Article 15 of the Transition Constitution, and ask yourself if the Bush Administration could defend some of its present positions under the following:
(((G) Every person deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall have the right of recourse to a court to determine the legality of his arrest or detention without delay and to order his release if this occurred in an illegal manner. [Should we advise them to change "every person" to "every citizen"? That wouldn't please the Bush Administration with regard to Padilla and Hamdi. So how about "every person not labeled by unreviewable fiat a 'terrorist'" deprived of his liberty.....
(I) Civilians may not be tried before a military tribunal. Special or exceptional courts may not be established.
(J) Torture in all its forms, physical or mental, shall be prohibited under all circumstances, as shall be cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment....
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu on behalf of Sanford Levinson
Sent: Sun 6/12/2005 9:28 AM
To: JMHACLJ at aol.com; VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu; conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: RE: Iraqi and American democracy
I will rise to the bait and ask why it is that a discussion of US policy vis-a-vis the drafting the Iraqi Constitution, by far the most important such project in the world today, raises "nothing much that would advance a reasoned discussion of constitutional lawl." (I realize that many of the members of this list disagree, as evidenced by their postings, but I am curious why Mr. Henderson disagrees. Is it that I stated my point a bit tendentiously? Does the word "much" suggest that there is at least "something" that is relevant to "a reasoned discussion of constitutional law"?
Let me ask my question a somewhat different way: Do the Iraqi drafters of their own constitution have anything at all to learn from the present operation of our constitutional system in the US? If so, are the lessons positive or negative? Do US specialists in constitutional law have anything at all to learn from the Interim Constitution (drafted under heavy US influence, even if not control) and/or from the process of constitution formation now going on in Iraq?
From: JMHACLJ at aol.com [mailto:JMHACLJ at aol.com]
Sent: Sun 6/12/2005 6:19 AM
To: VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu; conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu; Sanford Levinson
Subject: Re: Iraqi and American democracy
In a message dated 6/12/2005 5:07:24 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, SLevinson at law.utexas.edu writes nothing much that would advance a reasoned discussion of constitutional law.
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