President Donald Trump is once again attempting to use the coronavirus crisis as an excuse to grab more power and erode constitutional rights, and Attorney General Bill Barr is all too happy to help him.
Earlier this month, Trump used the pandemic to strip due process from migrants to allow border patrol and ICE to send them back across the border without a trial.
Now he wants to go even further.
According to Politico:
The Justice Department has quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies — part of a push for new powers that comes as the coronavirus spreads through the United States.
The DOJ requests — which are unlikely to make it through a Democratic-led House — span several stages of the legal process, from initial arrest to how cases are processed and investigated.
The proposal would also grant those top judges broad authority to pause court proceedings during emergencies. It would apply to “any statutes or rules of procedure otherwise affecting pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings and all civil process and proceedings,” according to draft legislative language the department shared with Congress.
Seriously, this is not a drill. Trump and Barr are going after due process and other constitutional rights, causing the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers executive director Norman Reimer to sound the alarm.
“Not only would it be a violation of that, but it says ‘affecting pre-arrest,’” he said. “So that means you could be arrested and never brought before a judge until they decide that the emergency or the civil disobedience is over. I find it absolutely terrifying. Especially in a time of emergency, we should be very careful about granting new powers to the government.”
Indeed, in addition to the coronavirus emergency, there are several other “national emergencies” that have been declared and are still in effect. Trump could use any of them to justify spitting on the Constitution.
Even Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) is staunchly opposed to the effort.
@realDonaldTrump, please refute and disavow this immediately.
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) March 21, 2020
Trump and Barr are clearly using the pandemic to distract the American people from paying attention to their civil rights. If we are not vigilant, they will strip them from all of us and it will be too late to stop them.
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