(2003) $15 / 148pp.
Assessing the New Normal, the third in a series of reports, documents the continuing erosion of basic human rights protections under U.S. law and policy since September 11. Today, two years after the attacks, it is no longer possible to view these changes as aberrant parts of an emergency response. Rather, the expansion of executive power and abandonment of established civil and criminal procedures have become part of a “new normal” in American life. The new normal, defined in part by the loss of particular freedoms for some, is as troubling for its detachment from the rule of law as a whole. The U.S. government can no longer promise that individuals will be governed by known principles of conduct, applied equally in all cases, and administered by independent courts. As this report shows, in a growing number of cases, legal safeguards are now observed only insofar as they are consistent with the chosen ends of power.