The morning civil liberties roundup

Good morning! I have to get some work done this week, so I’m making a pact with you, my reader. I will only write about hideous abuses of power and civil liberties once a day, so I can do it once and then ignore it, and I’ll start tagging those hideous abuses with a special icon, so you can ignore them if you want to. How’s that?

Speaking of civil liberties, my lawyer friend Greg is somewhat fixated on that side of the problem right now. He’s a born blogger, but has never set up one of these sites for himself–that could have something to do with the fact that he’s actually employed ;). He writes,

At The Nation , you can read about a detainee — since that’s what we’re calling them — who died while being held. Well, so much for our first plaintiff …

There’s a great description of the synergies between the new detention, eavesdropping and tribunal rules at Slate, courtesy of Slate magazine’s very own lawyer babe [and wickedly funny writer] Dahlia Lithwick.

Finally, at Findlaw, a link to the most inspiring legal opinion I read during law school — and it just happens to be about a man detained on Ellis Island until he could return home, oh, and don’t mind that he had no country to return to. Read the dissent by Justices Jackson and Frankfurter; search for the clause “Frankfurter joins, dissenting” to find the starting point. The parallels with current times should roll out with the very first sentence.

Even though the detainee lost, it’s cases like that one that remind me of the worth of studying law.