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Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency
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Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  71 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Eavesdropping on the phone calls of U.S. citizens; demands by the FBI for records of library borrowings; establishment of military tribunals to try suspected terrorists, including U.S. citizens--many of the measures taken by the Bush administration since 9/11 have sparked heated protests. In Not a Suicide Pact, Judge Richard A. Posner offers a cogent and elegant response t ...more
Hardcover, 171 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 2006)
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Kristopher Swinson
I have to throw in a hasty review, ill-equipped though I am at the moment, lest some take this to be purely reactionary to civil libertarians, harsh though he is on their case. This is along the lines of a thoughtful approach to a more fluid realm of law than histrionics suggest, seen at the lawfareblog.com, which I encountered after reading the highly relevant article by Benjamin Wittes at http://www.hoover.org/publications/de.... Posner posited in several ways that there's a certain give-take ...more
Russ
I thought this was an interesting book from a well known Federal Appeal's Court Judge, famous for his use of Economic Theory as a way to analyze legal problems. Judge Posner suggests that the way the Courts have traditionally divided prosecution between Crimes and War is not a proper perspective for the current environment of terrorism. Judge Posener sees terrorist attacks on the US to be a substantial threat, and because of that our civil liberties may need to be curtailed to deal with that thr ...more
Annette
Jan 26, 2008 Annette rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Liberals who want to challenge their beliefs
Judge Posner changed my mind about ensuring all traditional civil liberties for alleged terrorists. The most resonant argument he makes is that there should be a wrenching open of the current strict dichotomy of "crime" and "war" when prosecuting suspected terrorists. There is a gray area, and we, as legal minds need to adapt to the new environment rather than attempting to force Padilla, Hamdi, Hamdan etc into the "crime" and "war" boxes.

Judge Posner is clear and concise author who does not att
...more
Ricks Eric
In this book Federal Justice Richard A. Posner proposes some interesting theories of constitutional law in regards how rights are created by the interpretations of the Supreme court. The crux of this book is its analysis is the question of how much liberty are citizens willing to give up to secure peace and order in society. Those who will agree with Posner's arguments are those who are not fearful of large government and trust its ability to deliver a good society. Those who disagree with Posne ...more
Hillary Steckler
This was required reading for my American Heritage class at BYU, and it was amazing. While it is dense and probably not for someone who doesn’t enjoy non-fiction, I liked it a lot. Posner brings up many points, concepts and counter arguments that you won’t get from TV or a shallow debate with your friends. I feel like I understand the powers allotted to the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government better than before. If only every politician would read this!
Gloria
Oct 10, 2008 Gloria rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Civil Libertarians
Recommended to Gloria by: Teacher
Shelves: non-fiction
Judge Posner discusses the reasons to forfeit some civil liberties in light of living with terrorism since 9/11. His is a call to awareness of the gravity of potential terrorist activities. He calls for balance, but says we need to be realistic also. If even one action reveals a terrorist, then it justifies the means it took to find him.
Chandler
Interesting treatise about National Security, though quite tedious at times in argument. Ben Franklin would not approve.
Hayden Smith
If you think creating security doesn't mean you will surrender some of your "freedom" think again.
Lisa
Posner, as always, loves to pontificate. Too much economics, but that's expected.
Lynn
Well thought out arguments. A good book.
Conor
Good book. Very accessible.
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Richard Posner is Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School.

Following his graduation from Harvard Law School, Judge Posner clerked for Justice William J. Brennan Jr. From 1963 to 1965, he was assistant to Commissioner Philip Elman of the Federal Trade Commission. For the next two years he was assistant to the solicitor general of the United States. Prior to going to Stanford
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