Not a Suicide Pact by Richard A. Posner
The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency (Inalienable Rights)

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Synopsis

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. In Not 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. These issues 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 sui generis--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. Posner stresses 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 our most cherished freedoms.
 

About Richard A. Posner

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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 year.
 
Published September 1, 2006 by Oxford University Press, USA. 208 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Not a Suicide Pact

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For instance, he expresses irritation with the Supreme Court’s 1969 Brandenburg ruling, which stipulated that speech advocating violence or other criminal conduct cannot constitutionally be suppressed unless it is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite ...

Sep 19 2006 | Read Full Review of Not a Suicide Pact: The Const...

The New York Times

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For instance, he expresses irritation with the Supreme Court’s 1969 Brandenburg ruling, which stipulated that speech advocating violence or other criminal conduct cannot constitutionally be suppressed unless it is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite ...

Sep 19 2006 | Read Full Review of Not a Suicide Pact: The Const...

The New York Times

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SINCE 9/11, Judge Richard Posner has been a strong proponent of redrawing legal lines to allow for greater executive power in the service of aggressively responding to terrorist threats.

Sep 10 2006 | Read Full Review of Not a Suicide Pact: The Const...

Publishers Weekly

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Posner, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, inaugurates a new series on inalienable rights.

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