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Research Report

Twelve Steps to Restore Checks and Balances

  • Aziz Huq
Published: January 1, 2008

Executive Privilege. Extraordinary Rendition. Secret legal opinions. Warrantless wiretapping. Indefinite detention. Suspension of habeas corpus. America’s system of checks and balances is eroding, upsetting the delicate balance of power set forth in the Constitution. Twelve Steps to Restore Checks and Balances proposes specific reforms designed to keep the nation secure and free, as the Constitution’s framers intended. In Twelve Steps to Restore Checks and Balances, Aziz Huq, Director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program, offers a step-by-step plan to restore our constitutional system of government. Twelve Steps traces the origins of the Bush Administration’s theory of monarchical power and points the way to a comprehensive plan to realign our system of checks and balances in the way that the Founders intended.

Mr. Huq’s proposal is not an indictment of all the methods used to fight terrorism.  Rather, it seeks to set a new path in the way that America works to prevent terrorism that is consistent with cherished liberties. Twelve Steps offers a course of action that the current crop of presidential candidates, Congress, and the President can take to restore checks and balances.