Law's Detour: Justice Displaced in the Bush Administration

Law's Detour: Justice Displaced in the Bush Administration

by Peter Margulies


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From the Justice Department’s memos defending coerced interrogation to Alberto Gonzales’ firing of U.S. Attorneys who did not fit the Bush Administration’s political needs, Law’s Detour paints an alarming picture of the many detours that George W. Bush and his allies created to thwart transparency and undermine the rule of law after September 11, 2001. Pursuing those detours, Bush officials set up a law-free zone at Guantánamo, ordered massive immigration raids that separated families, and screened candidates for civil service jobs to ensure the hiring of “real Americans.”
While government needs flexibility to address genuine risks to national security—which certainly exist in the post-9/11 world—the Bush Administration’s use of detours distracted the government from urgent priorities, tarnished America’s reputation, and threatened voting and civil rights. In this comprehensive analysis of Bush officials’ efforts to stretch and strain the justice system, Peter Margulies canvasses the costs of the Administration’s many detours, from resisting accountability in the war on terrorism to thwarting economic and environmental regulation. Concise and full of compelling anecdotes, Law’s Detour maps these aberrations, surveys the damage done, and reaffirms the virtues of transparency and dialog that the Bush administration dismissed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814795590
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 04/26/2010
Series: Critical America Series , #24
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Peter Margulies is a Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law.

Table of Contents

1 The Perfect Storm of Politics, Ideology, and Crisis
2 Targeting Individuals and Groups
3 The Architecture of Impunity
4 Centralizing Policy and Patronage
5 Conspiracy’s Discontents: Prevention and False Positives After September 11
6 Justice and Elections
7 Regulation of Business and the Flight from Accountability at Home and Abroad
Notes Index
About the Author

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Margulies (law, Roger Williams Univ.) has written the most devastating criticism to date of the Bush Administration's handling of legal matters. Margulies's appellations, "justice displaced" and "justice detoured," are apt descriptions of the study."-CHOICE,

"Elections Got You Down? The 17 Best Social and Political Awareness Books of 2010... In a season of political discontent — trivialities and distractions, renewed culture wars and the rebirth of regressive impulses — these books remind us what is really at stake in political participation and democratic tension."-The Huffington Post,

"Margulies helps us to understand how policy, legal detours, professional norms, and secrecy interact in our democracy."-Mark Tushnet,Trial Magazine

“Margulies arrays the sordid history of the Bush Administration against the oft-overlooked structures of American government that protect us all as citizens. This analysis is important to any American interested in liberty or government.”
-Senator Sheldon Whitehouse [D-RI]

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