Fat Steve's Blatherings

Thursday, July 07, 2005

One of the Reasons I Don't Read Reason Anymore


      Reason columnist Matt Welch writes about legal procedure, without knowing what that procedure has been for the past two hundred fifteen years.

At Length:

      Matt Welch, writing about the Plame case, cites with approval:

a must-read May 2003 Cato Institute paper [warning: Evil pdf format], "the government has been using the façade of the 'grand jury process' to subvert the Bill of Rights—especially . . .the Fifth Amendment's ban on compulsory examination under oath."

      There is no such ban, and there never has been.  There is a ban on being forced to testify against yourself, but not against others.  Welch lives in LA.  Didn't he ever hear of
the Hollywood Ten
?  They went to jail for refusing to testify.  Or Oliver North?  He refused to testify concerning his activities in the Iran-Contra mess.  Congress then granted him "use immunity," meaning that nothing he said could be used against him in court, then compelled him testify.  Hell, didn't Welch ever read the the Constitution?:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . .to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.

      So the so-called right has never existed.  If Welch & Reason don't know this, they're too ignorant to bother with.  If they do know, they're liars.  In either case, I can't be bothered to read magazines that publish such drivel.

      A shame.  Once, Reason was must reading for me.

      "Hat tip": A well-known legal blogger, who inexplicably fails to point out Welch's error about the Constitution.



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