TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Public Wants Court to Okay Wiretaps

Re: Public Wants Court to Okay Wiretaps
13 Jan 2006 12:58:13 -0800

Mark Crispin wrote:

>> They stated that the US Constitution doesn't apply to
>> non-citizens while they are in the US.

> Every country in the world has a similar policy. Non-citizens don't
> have the "rights" of citizens, they have "privileges" which are
> defined by the government.

Not the same thing.

The Charter of rights of Freedoms applies to both citizens and
foreign nationals alike. It just contains the certain rights (like
the right to vote) which are limited to citizens.

The US government lawyers on the other hand have stated that
_the whole_ of the US Constitution (including the right to a
lawyer if arrested) doesn't apply to foreign nationals. And they
didn't seem to be offering up what, in its place, _does_ give
them any rights.

> The Charter also uses "reasonable" as a
> discriminate quite a bit more than than the US Constitution; and guess
> who definites "reasonable".

The Supreme Court. Personally, I have no problem with that.

>> Makes a non-US person want to vacation there, huh?

> The US is generally quite a bit more liberal about giving out
> privileges to foreigners than most other countries, including Canada
> (although Canada is relatively liberal).

I don't call the withholding of the right of access to a lawyer (for
one thing) particularly "liberal".

> The Canadian Supreme Court has ruled that because the notwithstanding
> clause exists, an Act of Parliament can not be seen as violating the
> Charter.

Only if they invoke the notwithstanding clause (with the issues
related to that which I mentioned on my last post). Day-to-day Acts
of Parliament can (and do) get overturned by the Supreme Court on
account of the fact that they violate the Charter.

> Parliamentary systems are pure democracies; they have nothing like the
> US checks and balances.

You mean the checks and balances that are protecting the non-citizens
who apparently have no rights?

> If you're Canadian, you might want to take a closer look at what your
> government is doing before commenting on domestic US issues.

I follow it quite closely, thank you. I'm a regular listener to CBC
Radio One, for example. That includes a lot of discussion of both
domestic and foreign (incl US) goings on. But one doesn't need to be
a legal expert to believe that the withholding of basic rights from
non-citizens is wrong.


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