At War with Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

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9780742535985: At War with Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
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Two hundred and eleven years ago, Congress proposed and the states ratified the Bill of Rights. Since that time, these rights have been challenged over and over again. The Alien and Sedition Acts, the Civil War, the 'Red Scares' during both World Wars, the Cold War and its permanent crisis mentality, the Vietnam era and its civil unrest, and now the War on Terrorism--all are points along a line of contested history and conflict. Each of these crises generated stresses and strains for our constitutional guarantees of civil rights and liberties. This book looks at the War on Terrorism and the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq through the lenses of constitutional law and American politics. A remarkably cohesive set of essays by leading legal scholars brings these challenges into sharp focus, offering a unique perspective on executive power, the rule of law, and the delicate balance between rights, liberties, and threats.

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About the Author:

Thomas E. Baker is professor of law at Florida International University.
John F. Stack, Jr., is professor of political science and law and director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship Studies at Florida International University.

Review:

No topic is more important than the one addressed in this book, since it is highly likely that the 'Global War on Terror' will be literally endless. Baker and Stack have assembled an excellent group of scholars to discuss some of the ramifications of that war. The essays should prove illuminating to scholars, students, and general readers alike. (Levinson, Sanford)

At War with Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is a truly important book. It is a rare scholarly effort that translates well to a more general audience concerned with policy and matters of the day. The editors, Baker and Stack, distinguished scholars in law and politics, have brought together an extraordinary team that ranges from John Ashcroft, the former Attorney General, to experts in the history of civil liberties in the U.S. The issues covered include the evolution of civil rights and liberties, explored through case studies from the time of FDR to the War on Terrorism, along with the responsibilities of political institutions in the U.S. as related to the rule of law and limitations on the arbitrary exercise of power. At War with Civil Rights and Civil Liberties will stand as one of the finest collections on law and politics for many years to come. (James, Patrick)

With the goal of addressing a vexing set of problems confronting our society—not the least of which is how government ought balance liberty and security concerns in times of crisis—Baker and Stack have brought together an eminent group of commentators. The result is an eminently important volume, one that is balanced, sophisticated, and, best of all, accessible and engaging. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in rights during war, in other words, to all thinking people living in the United States today. (Lee Epstein)

From their unique perspectives, leading scholars from history, political science, and law, as well as an Attorney General and a Supreme Court justice, contemplate the most important constitutional challenge of our time: making sure that civil rights and civil liberties do not become a casualty of the war on terrorism. For better or for worse, these essays demonstrate that if we are to avoid the mistakes of the past we cannot take the Constitution for granted in these perilous times. This provocative book is 'must-reading' for everyone who believes in human rights and the rule of law. (Nadine Strossen)

An excellent collection of essays on the most important legal issue of our time: how to balance civil liberties with protecting national security in fighting the war on terrorism. Eminent authors--including Justice Stephen Breyer, former Attorney General John Ashcroft, and top scholars--examine crucial aspects of the consequences of the war on terrorism for civil liberties. The essays are written in an accessible manner so that everyone can benefit and learn from this important book. (Chemerinsky, Erwin)

Beginning with the views of Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Attorney General John Ashcroft, the remaining seven essays explore how several U.S. administrations have at times expanded or limited our civil liberties and rights during times of crisis. This collection of essays is not a polemical attack on the Bush Administration. Instead, this is a balanced and critical analysis of the real political costs-in terms of individual rights, privileges, and obligations-of fighting this global war on terrorism. At War with Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is a thoughtful, timely, and provocative collection of essays that explores the relationship between foreign policy, international security challenges, and the rights of U.S. citizens. The terrorist attacks on September 11th should have reminded Americans that we are always vulnerable and that our domestic affairs cannot be separated from conditions, events, and decisions made in distant lands. The actions of a global terrorist network have profoundly affected our lives, liberties and laws. Professors Baker and Stack have put together an excellent collection of essays that force us to think critically about the relationship between the war on terrorism and the civil rights and civil liberties of U.S. citizens as well as those who would challenge U.S. interests and security. (Steven L. Lamy)

The authors clearly convey the message that the constitutional fabric of liberties and rights is stretched to the breaking point during wars and, currently, under unpredictable, lethal terrorist attacks. Highly Recommended. (Choice)

An impressive, thoughtful, and timely collection that should prove useful in courses on civil rights and liberties. (O'Brien, David M.)

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