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Fascism Alert: NY Judge Suspends Protesters' Habeas Corpus Rights

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The nation is transforming right before our eyes.

Despite states re-opening after months of lock down, the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is still infecting thousands every day, and a vaccine is not predicted any time soon.

The economy--already precarious before the pandemic--is swiftly unraveling.

We also find ourselves gripped in civil unrest the likes of which we have not experienced in five decades.

As Frederick Douglass famously said, "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

But those in power never concede to change without prolonged struggle.

In that struggle lurks the potential for authoritarianism into which many countries have descended.

Some have not returned.

In March, the Justice Department (DOJ) considered using the COVID-19 outbreak to suspend constitutional habeas corpus (due process) rights.

Last week, New York State Supreme Court justice James Burke did just that, using the protests over police brutality to reject a petition intending immediate release of hundreds of protesters the New York Police Department had detained for over 24 hours.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted:

"Civil liberties protect ourselves from governments using "crises" and "emergencies" as justification to dismantle our rights. This is suspension of habeus corpus, it is unconstitutional, and it is deeply disturbing that both NYPD is seeking it and a judge rubber stamped it."

The non-profit organization Legal Aid Society (LAS) is currently suing the NYPD for violating New York's "24 hour arrest-to-arraignment requirement."

LAS senior staff attorney countered judge Burke's decision:

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)
 

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