US Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) appeared in-world this afternoon to talk to SL residents about his stance on habeas corpus and civil liberties in light of the "War on Terrorism." This was during a mixed-reality demonstration organized by the ACLU entitled "Day of Action to Restore Law and Justice" held both in the real world US Capitol and in the SL Capitol Hill (teleport SLURL) . Congressman Nadler asserted that "we must bring terrorist to justice. But in the
process we must not destroy American liberty and undermine the
Constitution." The congressman then informed the group of avatars about his plans to hold hearings on habeas corpus this afternoon, as well as introduce legislation challenging the government to defend its acts in detaining suspected terrorists without due process.
If you would like more information, the ACLU has an associate chapter in Second Life which you can find here.
A lightly edited chatlog follows…
Chatlog of Rep Nadler’s Appearance in Second Life on June 26, 2007, 1:15PM EST
[10:14] Jed Glimmer : Now I’m pleased to introduce Congressman Jerrold Nadler
[10:15] Jed Glimmer : who joins us having just spoken live at our RL rally. Welcome!
[10:15] You: /applause
[10:15] JerryNadler Streeter: Thank you everyone for coming
[10:15] Ruby Glitter: Hey, COngressperson Nadler!
[10:15] Priscilla Ewing: yeah!
[10:15] JerryNadler Streeter: I am honored to be here
[10:16] Still Defiant: greetings, Congressman Nadler. looking good!
[10:16] You: welcome congressman. we’re real voters behind these admittedly silly avatars
[10:16] Movies1963 Beck: welcome congressman I hate the GOP
[10:17] Ruby Glitter: Quite right, Rik. NC’s 4th district, reprezent.
[10:17] JerryNadler Streeter: Thank you!
[10:17] Movies1963 Beck: your welcome
[10:17] JerryNadler Streeter: Are there questions from the audience?
[10:17] Movies1963 Beck: how are you going to undo the damage done to the schoolboards in NYC
[10:18] Jamming Independent: Congressman Nadler, could you recap your remarks for those of us unable to attend your speech in DC today?
[10:18] Movies1963 Beck: done by Bloomberg
[10:18] JerryNadler Streeter: I’d be happy to
[10:18] Priscilla Ewing: What legislation are you sponsoring to stop this violation of our civil rights?
[10:19] JerryNadler Streeter: I told the wonderful crowd gathered in Upper Senate Park that in our America a person cannot be deprived of liberty held in jail unless the government can demonstrate to a neutral judge that there is probable cause that he or she has committed a crime.
[10:19] JerryNadler Streeter: At least that’s the way it used to be.
[10:20] Priscilla Ewing shouts: Can you tell us about your legislation?
[10:20] JerryNadler Streeter: President Bush now claims the authority
[10:20] Still Defiant: sure i am curious to know how much support you have among your constituents for restoring American values of justice and equality, regarding restoration of habeas corpus and ending the abomination of indeterminate detention
[10:21] JerryNadler Streeter: and the Military Commissions Act supposedly now gives to him to be able to point his finger at anyone and say "You’re an enemy combatant, because I say so. And we’re going to throw you in jail forever without ever giving you due process"
[10:22] Still Defiant: ..and do you personally support rendition of non citizens to countries with poor human rights records
[10:22] JerryNadler Streeter: No executive in an English speaking country has claimed such authority since the magna carta was adopted almost 800 years ago
[10:23] JerryNadler Streeter: I think we can all agree that we must bring terrorist to justice. But in the process we must not destroy American liberty and undermine the Constitution. That’s why I’ve introduced the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007 and the Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007.
[10:24] Coughran Mayo shouts: Right on!
[10:25] Ruby Glitter: Awesome!
[10:25] JerryNadler Streeter: Thank you!
[10:25] Priscilla Ewing: How will the legislation help us – regular citizens of the US?
[10:25] JerryNadler Streeter: These measure will ensure that we focus our efforts on terrorists. Habeas corpus will be the subject of a hearing I am holding shortly this afternoon. That hearing is part of a broader series called "The Constitution in Crisis: The State of Civil Liberties in America"
[10:27] Jamming Independent: Congressman, thank you for introducing your legislation and for holding the hearing this afternoon. I can see why the ACLU gave you a 93% rating on your civil right voting record!
[10:27] JerryNadler Streeter: Thank you, Jamming. Through these hearings, I hope to shed light on the Bush administrations policies, actions, and programs that threaten Americans’ fundamental constitutional rights and civil liberties.
[10:28] Ruby Glitter: Wish I could be there in person.
[10:28] Still Defiant: great to hear, sir. you are an extremly remarkable and admirable Congressperson
[10:29] Still Defiant: agreed!
[10:29] JerryNadler Streeter: I may not have much more time to chat with you for which I apologize.
[10:29] Jamming Independent: Congressman, how can we help support your two bills on habeas and restoring the Constitution?
[10:30] Jed Glimmer : We may not have much more time with the Congressman
[10:30] JerryNadler Streeter: You can always find out more at my website www.house.gov/nadler/
[10:30] Jed Glimmer : … but to answer Jamming’s question
[10:31] Jed Glimmer : one simple way is to go to aclu.org/junecall and give your own representative a call right away, today
[10:31] Still Defiant: ah well thank you so very much for taking some time to answer some! i look forward to watching those hearings!
[10:31] You: thank you for your time, Congressman. Good luck with the hearings.
[10:31] Still Defiant: have a great day sir!
[10:31] Jed Glimmer : to show your support for these measures
[10:31] Ruby Glitter: Yes, thank you for working on this.
[10:32] Little Gray: question: when Judge Richard Posner was in second life, he said, on the issue of habeas corpus/gtmo, "f the Supreme Court makes a mistake and holds an important national security measure unconstitutional, there is as a practical matter no way to correct the Court’s error. I would like to see these issues hammered out between the President and Congress with minimum judicial intervention. . . . I think [the supreme court] should review the laws, but with a light touch, resolving genuine doubts in favor of constitutionality." Do you agree with this statement?
[10:32] Jamming Independent: Thank you Congressman!
[10:32] Jed Glimmer : Yes, thank you! It’s great of you to show your support for this work, the ACLU and Second Life in this way!
[10:33] JerryNadler Streeter: It’s a pleasure
[10:34] Jed Glimmer : Unfortunately, Congressman Nadler has to go. I’m sorry that our SL tech glitches didn’t give us more time with him.
[[10:34] Thursday Xu: thanks congressman
[10:35] Priscilla Ewing shouts: Thanks for meeting with us!!
[10:35] JerryNadler Streeter: But thank you again for your support and for coming out for this important cause.