Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency by Richard A. PosnerNot a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency by Richard A. Posner

Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency

byRichard A. Posner

Hardcover | September 15, 2006

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Eavesdropping on the phone calls of U.S. citizens; demands by the FBI for records of library borrowings; establishment of military tribunals to try suspected terrorists, including U.S. citizens--many of the measures taken by the Bush administration since 9/11 have sparked heated protests. InNot a Suicide Pact, Judge Richard A. Posner offers a cogent and elegant response to these protests, arguing that personal liberty must be balanced with public safety in the face of grave national danger. Critical of civil libertarians who balk at any curtailment of their rights, even in the face of an unprecedented terrorist threat in an era of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Posner takes a fresh look at the most important constitutional issues that have arisen since 9/11. Theseissues include the constitutional rights of terrorist suspects (whether American citizens or not) to habeas corpus and due process, and their rights against brutal interrogation (including torture) and searches based on less than probable cause. Posner argues that terrorist activity is suigeneris--it is neither "war" nor "crime"--and it demands a tailored response, one that gives terror suspects fewer constitutional rights than persons suspected of ordinary criminal activity. Constitutional law must remain fluid, protean, and responsive to the pressure of contemporary events. Posnerstresses the limits of law in regulating national security measures and underscores the paradoxical need to recognize a category of government conduct that is at once illegal and morally obligatory. One of America's top legal thinkers, Posner does not pull punches. He offers readers a short, sharp book with a strong point of view that is certain to generate much debate. OXFORD'S NEW INALIENABLE RIGHTS SERIES This is inaugural volume in Oxford's new fourteen-book Inalienable Rights Series. Each book will be a short, analytically sharp exploration of a particular right--to bear arms, to religious freedom, to free speech--clarifying the issues swirling around these rights and challenging us to rethink ourmost cherished freedoms.
Richard A. Posner is Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Chicago, and lectures at the University of Chicago Law School. He is the author of many books and articles, including Overcoming Law and An Affair of State, both of which were picked by The New York Times Book Review as among the best books of their ye...
Title:Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National EmergencyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 5.79 × 8.31 × 0.79 inPublished:September 15, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195304276

ISBN - 13:9780195304275

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Editorial Reviews

"Undaunted by controversy, Posner forthrightly addresses detention, harsh interrogation methods, limits of free speech, ethnic profiling, and the boundaries of privacy rights, among other hot-button topics. Posner's book deserves to be commended for its policy recommendations, which are almostunfailingly sane."--Ethics and International Affairs