Balancing freedom against security

Dahlia Lithwick reviews Posner’s new book;

“That is why Judge Richard Posner is such a welcome voice in the national conversation about balancing freedom against security. Posner, the brilliant and prolific federal appeals court judge, is renowned—and not always in a good way—for putting a price tag on everything. But whatever quibbles liberals may have with his law-and-economics approach to anything from rape to unwanted babies, they should celebrate the intellectual rigor he brings to the problem of civil liberties in wartime. In his new book, Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency, Judge Posner approaches the wartime civil-liberties problem in precisely the manner the Bush administration will not: with a meticulous, usually dispassionate, weighing of what is gained against what is lost each time the government engages in data-mining, indefinite detentions, or the suppression of free speech…

What Posner offers is the suggestion that careful balancing of liberties lost against security gained is a better alternative than the current regime that recognizes no cost to freedoms lost and no accountability for security achieved. By virtue of this careful balancing, Posner even criticizes a few Bush administration decisions. He questions, for instance, the decision to suspend the right to habeas corpus of U.S. citizens or foreign terrorists captured in the United States because he deems the cost of indefinite detention to exceed the gain in public safety.”

The Constitution is not a suicide pact
The Glenn & Helen Show: Richard Posner on Terrorism and the Constitution
Judge Posner interview Charlies Rose


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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on September 10, 2006 4:08 PM.

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