Equal Justice in the Balance: America's Legal Responses to the Emerging Terrorist Threat by Raneta Lawson Mack, Michael J. Kelly |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Equal Justice in the Balance: America's Legal Responses to the Emerging Terrorist Threat

Equal Justice in the Balance: America's Legal Responses to the Emerging Terrorist Threat

by Raneta Lawson Mack, Michael J. Kelly
     
 

"We are in difficult times for the protection of our liberties. Nonetheless, citizens are showing an increased willingness to resist the erosion of the U.S. Constitution. . . . Lawson Mack and Kelly stress the importance of not giving up these fundamental rights and conclude with a message of optimism, noting an increased backlash against the administration's more

Overview

"We are in difficult times for the protection of our liberties. Nonetheless, citizens are showing an increased willingness to resist the erosion of the U.S. Constitution. . . . Lawson Mack and Kelly stress the importance of not giving up these fundamental rights and conclude with a message of optimism, noting an increased backlash against the administration's more draconian measures. Although the landscape is still quite bleak, change is in the air."
-Michael Ratner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights, from the foreword

"A compelling and sophisticated critique of the U.S. government's post-9/11 actions. Mack and Kelly set the stage with the historical perspective on America's response to terrorism and the assessment of terrorist threats, before launching into a comprehensive analysis of the USA Patriot Act. Their hard-hitting approach and easy-to-read style makes for a fascinating treatment of the government's legislative and executive response to the attacks."
-Michael P. Scharf, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

With its sweeping critique of the USA Patriot Act and the Bush administration's maneuvers in pursuit of terrorists, Equal Justice in the Balance is a sobering and exacting look at American legal responses to terrorism, both before and after 9/11.

The authors detail wide-ranging and persuasive evidence that American antiterrorism legislation has led to serious infringements of our civil rights. They show us how deviations from our fundamental principles of fairness and justice in times of heightened national anxiety-whether the Red Scare, World War II, or the War on Terrorism-have resulted in overreaction and excess, later requiring apologies and reparations to those victimized by a paranoia-driven justice system.

While terrorist attacks-especially on a large scale and on American soil-damage our national pride and sense of security, the authors offer powerful arguments for why we must allow our judicial infrastructure, imperfect as it is, to respond without undue interference from the politics of anger and vengeance.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Coming to market with uncharacteristic speed for an offering from a university press, this disorganized tome could have used a less hasty production schedule. Mack and Kelly ask how much latitude a government should receive without appropriate checks and balances, but unfortunately fail to answer this worthy question. They fill the early chapters with wordy and opaque meditations on the definitions of "terror" and "justice," and eventually assert that what the West really needs to do is to make sure that the Islamic world knows we care. The issues they raise are important: the treatment of detainees at Guant namo, the government's holding of suspected terrorists without access to lawyers, the government's expanded use of wire-tapping, and congressional reservations about new security policies. Far too often, the authors merely denounce without providing explanation or analysis to back up their assertions. Unfortunately, this tic distracts from the relevant observations and criticisms that do slip through. Analyzing what they see as the shortcomings of the USA Patriot Act section by section, for example, they argue that it broadens too far the justifications for seizing and disposing of suspected terrorists' property, makes it difficult to distinguish legitimate dissent from unlawful behavior and dramatically expands the government's ability to eavesdrop. Unraveling such insights from extraneous matter, however, will prove frustrating to even the most sympathetic and patient of readers. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780472113941
Publisher:
University of Michigan Press
Publication date:
04/19/2004
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.24(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.22(d)

Meet the Author

Raneta Lawson Mack is Professor of Law and Michael J. Kelly is Assistant Professor of Law at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

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