Eroding Civil Liberties – Bush vs. Dems


Patterico suggests that Obama is appointing the wrong people if he really wants to uphold civil liberties.

Last month, Barack Obama announced the appointment of former Clinton Deputy AG Eric Holder to serve as his Attorney General. Harvey Silverglate, a Boston-based criminal defense and civil liberties lawyer, notes that Holder authored the Holder Memorandum in 1999 while serving in the Clinton Administration, a Memorandum that arguably resulted in significant erosion of the civil liberties of many Americans. Specifically, it pitted American companies against employees to effectively limit the employees’ right to counsel:

The policy was subsequently tested — and rejected — in court:

“This attack on the individual defendants’ Sixth Amendment right to counsel caused Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the Southern District of New York to dismiss, in June 2006, the massive federal fraud indictment brought against a group of former employees of KPMG in U.S. v. Stein, a groundbreaking ruling affirmed by the 2d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this past August. Kaplan denounced the government’s pressure on KPMG to show “cooperation” through both advising employees against seeking legal counsel and not paying the defendants’ legal bills. The government, Kaplan wrote, “let its zeal get in the way of its judgment. It has violated the constitution it is sworn to defend.

Remember: the US constitution defines the rights of US citizens, not terrorists.

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