September 20, 2007

A Letter from Senator Leahy

Your Letters to Congress on Restoration of Habeas Corpus are Appreciated. Leahy Vows to Not Back Down on Habeas Corpus

Dear friends,

I want to thank all 17,000 of you who signed on as citizen co-sponsors of the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act and lobbied your Senators by phone and email -- as well as the millions of other Americans who share our commitment to this critical issue. Yesterday's 56-43 vote clearly showed that a majority of the Senate -- and a majority of Americans -- favor the restoration of our basic civil liberties.

Congress made a mistake of historical proportions when it suspended habeas rights a few years ago -- and unfortunately Senate Republicans made another mistake yesterday by mounting a filibuster and failing to allow us to restore it. The good news is we've picked up 8 more votes since the Senate voted to suspend habeas corpus last fall, but we still need 4 more Senators to reach a filibuster-proof 60 vote margin.

I am disappointed that we did not succeed yesterday -- but we're not giving up, not by a long shot. Defending the Constitution is not always politically easy, especially in a time of war. But our nation is at its greatest when it stands up for the Constitution, during the best of times and the worst of times. That's why I believe in the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act, and why my colleagues and I are still working hard to pass it.

I am proud to have led the bipartisan effort to restore our fundamental rights along with my colleagues, including Senator Chris Dodd, Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senator Arlen Specter, and many others. Our bill had widespread support from conservatives, liberals, and independents alike.

With hard work and with the strength of our Constitution, I am confident that we will ultimately prevail. I thank you and my fellow Senators who stood up for an America that upholds its basic values and rights. I'm not backing down and will keep you posted on how you can help us restore habeas corpus rights in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your continued support.


Patrick Leahy

Patrick Leahy
U.S. Senator

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