Friday, September 22, 2006

NYTimes review of Posner book

"A Jurist’s Argument for Bending the Constitution"

The New York Times' MICHIKO KAKUTANI slams Posner's new book:

"...a depressing relativism in which there are no higher ideals and no absolute rights worth protecting."

"By the end of this chilling book, the reader realizes that Judge Posner is willing to use virtually any argument — logical or not — to redefine constitutionally guaranteed rights like freedom of speech during wartime."

"...this book suggests that Judge Posner does regard the Constitution as an old piece of parchment — a piece of parchment with certain rules, but rules that “are made to be broken” by a president during an emergency, no matter how long that emergency may last."

Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency.
By Richard A. Posner.

UPDATE: There is some back and forth debate on the University of Chicago Law School Faculty blog about it here and here. Posner actually states:
Civil liberties are valuable, but their values should be assessed in a practical, hard-headed way, rather than treated with quasi-religious veneration. Maybe David Hume went too far (though I don’t think so) when he said that “The safety of the people is the supreme law. All other particular laws are subordinate to it, and dependent on it.” But I am not prepared to die at the hands of terrorists in order to defend the Miranda rule, or Brady, or Burton, or Mapp, or Doyle, or the other arabesques that the Supreme Court in the Earl Warren era inscribed on the helpless text of the Constitution.

Geez... he seems to have forgotten his oath to defend the Constitution, and "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

At least Geoffrey Stone is able to contain him somewhat.