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Press Release

For Immediate Release
Monday, June 16, 2008

Libertarian Party asks McCain: 'What's so wrong with habeas corpus?'

Party questions the GOP front man's enmity to the "Great Writ"

The Libertarian Party is questioning comments made by Sen. John McCain following the recent Supreme Court decision that granted the right of habeas corpus to detainees in Guantanamo Bay.  "We’d like to ask John McCain what's so wrong with habeas corpus," says Libertarian Party spokesperson Andrew Davis.  

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee called the ruling "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country."

"The writ of habeas corpus is one of the key pillars of freedom in Western civilization," says Davis. "To have the leading figure of any political party come out so strongly against the basic idea that one should have protections against false imprisonment is both puzzling and frightening.  Perhaps Sen. McCain needs a refresher course in civil liberties and the foundations for justice in civilized societies.  Justice will prevail, Sen. McCain. There is no need for shortcuts."

The Libertarian Party has frequently criticized the Bush administration and Congressional Republicans for what the Party sees as rampant abuse of civil liberties that frequently defy the Constitution.  The Libertarian Party calls for the repeal of legislation like the Patriot Act and the Military Commission Act, which increase the power of the federal government at the expense of civil liberties. 

“The Court’s habeas corpus decision was a victory for all Americans more than any particular litigant, since it affirmed the duty of the executive branch to obey the law,” says former Congressman Bob Barr, who is also the Libertarian Party's 2008 presidential nominee. In fighting terrorism, “we must not sacrifice those liberties which make America the unique nation that it is,” Barr adds.

Barr suggests that he and Sen. McCain approach such leading legal organizations as the ACLU and Federalist Society to jointly host a debate on the role of habeas corpus and other constitutional protections for civil liberties in the fight against terrorism. 

“I’m ready to meet Sen. McCain any time and any place,” says Barr.

The Libertarian Party is America's third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties.  You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting www.LP.org. The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.
 
For more information on this issue, or to arrange a media interview, please call Andrew Davis at (202) 731-0002.