Civil liberties in the era of mass terrorism

Journal of Ethics 8 (1):77-95 (2004)
This paper discusses the impact of the so-called war on terrorism on civil liberties. The United States government in Madison’s plan was to be distrusted and hemmed in to protect citizens against it. The terrorist attacks of 2001 have seemingly licensed the US government to violate its Madisonian principles. While the current government asks for citizen trust, its actions justify distrust. The courts, which normally are the chief defenders of civil liberties, typically acquiesce in administration policies during emergencies, and it has been during wartimes that the worst infringements of civil liberties have occurred.
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