Can the Constitution be saved?


Nat Hentoff
Coshocton Tribune
April 29, 2011

The horrors of Sept. 11, 2001, created many American widows. Among them is Kristen Breitweiser, a lawyer who also mourns “The Sad Defeat of our Constitution” (Huffington Post, April 4) after President Obama decided not to prosecute the alleged leading killers “in an open court of law.” She added, “I wonder whether it wasn’t just the steel towers that were brought down and incinerated on 9/11 but the yellowed pages of our U.S. Constitution as well.”

Those of us acquainted with the Constitution also are aware of how much we continue to lose from our founding self-government document that gave us a choice to be a free people. For example, far from Guantanamo Bay’s military commissions, here at home our constitutional guarantee of personal privacy is hanging by a thread.

During the Bush-Cheney escalation of unbridled executive power, certain Supreme Court justices tried actively to guard the Constitution, as when President Bush unilaterally took over national security because, he said: “You need to have a president who understands you can’t win this war with legal papers.” (ABC’s “Nightline” May 13, 2004)

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