The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Corey Owens, The Constitution Project, Communications Director
(202) 580-6922

Senate Hears Bipartisan Call to Restore Rule of Law on Eve of Constitution Day


This morning, on the day before Constitution Day, political leaders and policy experts of both parties called on Congress to restore the rule of law in America. Several members of the Constitution Project's bipartisan Liberty and Security Committee, including former member of Congress Mickey Edwards, Dean of Yale Law School Harold Koh, former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, and former Executive Director of the National Commission on Terrorism Suzanne Spaulding, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights.

Koh, who previously served as Assistant Secretary of State for
Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, told the Subcommittee that "As difficult
as the last seven years have been, they loom far less important in the grand
scheme of things than the next eight, which will determine whether the pendulum
of U.S. policy swings back from the extreme place to which it has been pushed,
or stays stuck in a 'new normal' position under which our policies toward
national security, law and human rights remain wholly subsumed by the 'War on
Terror.' To regain our global standing, the next President and Congress must
unambiguously reassert our historic commitments to human rights and the rule of
law as a major source of our moral authority."

In its own statement, the Constitution Project noted that "Proposals to
create so-called 'national security courts' neglect basic and fundamental
principles of American constitutional law, and incorrectly assume that the
traditional processes have proved ineffective. The government can accomplish
its legitimate goals using existing laws and legal procedures without resorting
to such sweeping and radical departures from an American constitutional
tradition that has served us effectively for over two centuries."

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The Constitution Project is a politically independent think tank established in 1997 to promote and defend constitutional safeguards. More information about the Constitution Project is available at