Civil Rights of All at Risk

Response to Chicago Sun-Times’s “High Court Urged to Take Appeal from Padilla”  and Chicago Tribune’s “Padilla Asks Court to Rule on Detention”

The ongoing case of Jose Padilla should be a major concern for all American citizens who care for their civil rights (“High court urged to take appeal from Padilla,” Oct. 28).

Padilla and several others have been imprisoned without any charges for years. The Bush administration claims that because Padilla, an American citizen, is a suspected terrorist, he does not get the same protections other criminal suspects get.

Unfortunately for Bush, the Constitution and Bill of Right do not categorize criminals. All criminals, from rapists and murders to burglars and money launderers, are given this protection. Padilla, who is accused of plotting to detonate a radioactive device, is accused of a criminal activity and thus must be treated like all other criminals, even though he is labeled a terrorist.

If the case of Padilla is never heard by the Supreme Court, the civil liberties of all Americans will be at risk.