To Whom It May Concern:
The purpose of this letter is to request your support for the impeachment of a Supreme Court justice in the event that the court renders a decision against Jose Padilla. Padilla, a U.S. citizen, was arrested in Chicago and accused of plotting to detonate a radiation bomb, though he had no weapon at the time of his arrest. He has been incarcerated for over two years incommunicado without trial.
If they ratify the state conduct in the Padilla case, they will have eliminated the last obstacle to concentration camps in this country: It will mean that the executive can arrest citizens and incarcerate them indefinitely without trial (i.e., throw them into a concentration camp).
Such an abdication of judicial responsibilities under the constitution is TREASONOUS. They are required by oath to defend and protect the Bill of Rights. In the event that they rubber-stamp the state conduct in the Padilla case, they will be acting much like the rubber-stamp officials Hitler put into the Dutch judiciary during the occupation of Holland. Such conduct by a justice is treasonous and is punishable by IMPEACHMENT under the constitution.
If this seems like hyperbole, consider the following facts: - Since 9-11, there have been mass arrests and detentions throughout the country. - The Mariel Cubans were put away over 20 years ago without Due Process even though they had never committed a crime on U.S. soil. - Some 6 million people are currently in our prisons, jails or parole systems. - Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Nazi, has taken over California and is now governor of that state, having received the endorsement of the current administration. - Just last year, the Supreme Court ruled that, despite the obvious language in the Eighth Amendment to the contrary, a state may punish a citizen with 25-50 years of prison time for an offense such as the theft of video tapes from a video store!
THE JUSTICE THAT WRITES THE OPINION THAT RATIFIES THE STATE CONDUCT IN THE PADILLA CASE SHOULD BE IMPEACHED!
In the event that the court ratifies the state conduct in Padilla, the political coalition will exist in the House to support an impeachment vote. Last year, the House voted unanimously to restrict one of the provisions (relating to library records) in the misnamed Patriot Act. In the event that the Supreme Court takes the final plunge and ratifies concentration camps, it is quite probable that members of that coalition will be willing to impeach the justice who writes the opinion. Judging by the views on his web page, Representative Ron Paul of Texas (Republican) would probably support an impeachment vote in reaction to an adverse decision in the Padilla case. Such an impeachment, which would require only a majority vote, would place all of the anti-liberty precedent from the court in doubt for future cases, regardless of whether the Senate exercises its removal power.
The rights violations at Abu Ghraib prison provide further reason for a judicial impeachment. Without such an impeachment, how can we know with certainty that such abuses will not become the standard in the United States?
The argument against impeachment is that it would create unnecessary chaos in civil society. That argument is moot now that the court has abandoned the Fourth, Fifth, Seventh and Eighth Amendments. In the event that the court allows the state to establish concentration camps, which is essentially what they will be doing should they ratify the state conduct in the Padilla case, they will have only themselves to blame for having plunged us into chaos.
The constitution clearly establishes a remedy for acts of treason such as the crime for which Padilla is accused. Article III, Section 3 provides for a criminal prosecution in open court. Further, the executive relies on the Quirin case in flimsy fashion. That case represents only a solitary action by the executive during World War II; virtually all other efforts by the executive during that war consisted of mobilizing against and fighting just the type of totalitarian power that the current administration is now asserting.
The administration constantly informs us that measures such as indefinite detention and warrantless searches are necessary because of the War on Terror, but such rhetoric is a chimera. Since the war began two and a half years ago, less than 5,000 Americans have died. By contrast, over 400,000 Americans died in World War II and over 600,000 died in the Civil War. We lose over 40,000 per year in car wrecks and about 10,000 a year in gun shootings. By American standards, this war is more like a disagreement on a Saturday night.
Frankly, it is simply foolish to do nothing while the Supreme Court takes the final steps in removing legal obstacles to concentration camps. Exercising the impeachment power is the wisest course of last resort.
Wade D. Hobbs, Jr.
Attorney at Law