preview

Liberty And Security Argument Analysis

Good Essays
Liberty The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. -Opinion of the Court, Ex Parte Milligan, 71 US 2 (1866) Authors who argue in favor of liberty over the security argument make compelling appeals to the values expressed in the Constitution. These authors conclude, even in times of war and crisis, that it is important for the Court to act to protect these values when the Executive branch begins to accumulate greater powers in times of conflict. Philip Heymann articulates this argument eloquently, examining the changes in the wake of 2001 and warning citizens about what may happen…show more content…
The three arguments discussed above show that the nature of the debate between liberty and security has been radically changed by the War on Terror. The detentions of Muslims and young people of Middle Eastern descent have led to significant question about whether or not the Executive should have the power to take some civil liberties in order to assure the people of their security. I argue, however, that restricting civil liberties in pursuit of security has not been effective. In these cases, the civil liberties are being sacrificed without any benefits to the people who suffered their loss. Justice Steven David, an attorney for detainees at Guantanamo bay, asks a provoking question. “Our time will be judged instead by whether, in a time of national fear and perceived uncertainty, we followed the rule of law, adhered to the fundamental principles protected by our Constitution, and demonstrated to the world that human rights apply to all humans, not just Americans. Did we demonstrate to ourselves that, even in the most difficult times, we practiced what we had been preaching to the world, or did we let fear—and the fear of the rule of law—consume us?” (David, 2013:394). Ensuring that fear never again trumps the civil liberties promised by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights should be a goal for administrations going forward. The United States must rise to the challenge and work to protect civil liberties and enact smarter, more effective security
Get Access