Today, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) announced he'll be introducing the first shot across the bow of the unconstitutional Military Commissions Act (hat tip to Crooks & Liars). The bill is called the Effective Terrorists Prosecution Act and would, amongst other things, roll back some of the more insidious aspects of the MCA by:
1) Restoring habeas corpus.
2) Establishing a more focussed and more realistic definition of "enemy combatant".
3) Limiting the president's interpretation of the Geneva Conventions by, in part, demanding congressional and judicial oversight.
4) And, most importantly, it calls for a judicial review of the constitutionality of the MCA. I can only assume that, if successful, it could lead to an eventual repeal of the entire law.
Clearly, Senator Dodd isn't wasting any time. And apart from having an unfortunately awkward title (I know what the senator means, but it sounds like we're prosecuting effective terrorists which implies they've already effectively done something) you have to give the senator a rousing huzzah for introducing this bill now -- during the lame duck session.
I've been asked if my previous blog was a mission statement and the answer is an unequivocal, "Hells yeah, broseph!" I intend to track the demise of the MCA and the USA Patriot Act for as long as it takes. So for what it's worth, I made some calls to a few contacts to gather more details so I expect to have an update organized soon.
The key to the whole thing is finding out whether the bill has a chance in hell for a vote in this session and whether the votes exist. Either way, the basic idea of striking down the MCA has clawed its way to the congressional surface and I'd be surprised if it wasn't the first shot.
So Senator Dodd officially becomes the first honored recipient of the Luther Baldwin Award for Shooting the MCA In The Arse With A Cannon (also not the most graceful title). Wear it well, senator!