Supreme Court justice urges advocacy for our liberties
The U.S. Supreme Court is taking up several cases this spring that will probe the interaction between security and individual rights. The decisions will be critical in protecting our liberties, and at least one court member appears to recognize this fact.
Speaking before a group of women's rights lawyers recently, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg urged people to speak out in defense of their freedom.
"On important issues, like the balance between liberty and security, if the public doesn't care, then the security side going to outweigh the other," she said.
In April, the high court will hear cases involving terror suspects being detained indefinitely in Cuba and the United States without access to attorneys or other traditional legal protections. Included are some Americans whose rights are guaranteed by the Constitution.
The Bush administration claims its actions are correct because the combatants are enemy combatants and providing them with normal legal protections would undermine U.S. efforts to prevent terror attacks on our nation.
The White House challenged the Supreme Court's right to hear cases involving the detainees, but the arguments were fortunately rejected by the justices.
Some past decisions of the court on the issue of abuse of rights of immigrants in regard to terrorism sweeps have been disappointing. The justices have tended to support the importance of security over individual rights.
We hope that will not be their position in upcoming cases. If the highest court in the land will not protect our rights from government abuse, then we are headed down a dark road.
Unfortunately, many people seem to prefer to feel safe rather than free, not understanding that you cannot have one without the other. Ginsburg is right. If the people do not speak up to protect their liberties, then they will be taken away.