John McCain/Rights, Liberties and Courts Policy
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|This article is part of the Wiki-The-Vote project to detail the positions and records of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama. This article covers McCain and Rights, Liberties and Courts Policy. See the main page on John McCain for other positions and more info.|
|Summary (how summaries work)|
|In 2005, Senator John McCain introduced an amendment limiting the practice of torture by any military or intelligence agency personnel. The torture ban was approved by Congress my a wide majority, but President George W. Bush in a signing statement said he reserved the right to conduct torture to protect national security.
In 2007, the American Civil Liberties Union gave Senator McCain a grade of 50, and he supported the interests of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights 15 percent that year. Also in 2007, Gun Owners of America gave Senator McCain a rating of F-, though in 2006 he supported their interests 100 percent.
Congressional torture ban
Senator McCain, as a former POW, is particularly sensitive to the issue of detention and interrogation of detainees from the War on Terror. On October 3, 2005, Senator McCain introduced the McCain Detainee Amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill for 2005. On October 5, 2005, the United States Senate voted 90-9 to support the amendment. 
This amendment would establish the US Army Field Manual on Interrogation as the standard for interrogation of all detainees held in Department of Defense custody, including those held by the Central Intelligence Agency. The amendment would prohibit cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment and follow sections of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Amendment was initially opposed by the Bush administration, particularly Vice-President Dick Cheney. Before the vote supporting the amendment, the White House threatened to veto any language limiting the use of torture on suspected terrorists. However, due to the size of the majority voting in favor, this was not an option. The White House then sought alternative language which would exempt CIA operatives from the torture ban. The Senate refused the compromise.
On December 15, President Bush announced that he accepted McCain's terms and will "make it clear to the world that this government does not torture and that we adhere to the international convention of torture, whether it be here at home or abroad." Nevertheless, President Bush can interpret the law "in a manner consistent with his own constitutional authority." In his signing statement, or interpretation of the law, President Bush reserves what he interprets to be his constitutional right to torture in order to avoid further terrorist attacks. 
In September 2006, McCain drew attention when he joined with fellow Republicans John Warner (R-Va.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to oppose legislation backed by the Bush Administration that would have given the government wide freedoms in the treatment, interrogation and prosecution of terror detainees. In addition, the legislation would have included a reinterpretation of the U.S. duties under the Geneva convention. The three senators proposed their own, more moderate legislation dealing with the same issue. 
On September 21, the three dissenting senators reached a compromise with the White House which included many of the provisions from the administration's initial bill, but eliminated the use of secret evidence unavailable to the defense during terror trials and any explicit reinterpretation of the Geneva Convention. 
- Main article: War on Terror detainee legislation
Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
- Project Vote Smart's interest group ratings and important votes on civil liberties and civil rights.
- JohnMcCain.com - Protecting Second Amendment Rights
Senator McCain supported the interests of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors 0 percent in 2005-2006.
Articles and resources
- John McCain
- John McCain/Economic Policy
- John McCain/Education Policy
- John McCain/Elections and Government Policy
- John McCain/Energy and Environment Policy
- John McCain/Food and Agriculture Policy
- John McCain/Health Policy
- John McCain/Infrastructure and Transportation Policy
- John McCain/Labor, Immigration and Retirement Policy
- John McCain/National Security and Foreign Policy
- John McCain/Rights, Liberties and Courts Policy
- John McCain/Communications, Science and Intellectual Property
- John McCain/Social Policy
- John McCain/Controversies
- Barack Obama
- Barack Obama/Economic Policy
- Barack Obama/Education Policy
- Barack Obama/Elections and Government Policy
- Barack Obama/Energy and Environment Policy
- Barack Obama/Food and Agriculture Policy
- Barack Obama/Health Policy
- Barack Obama/Infrastructure and Transportation Policy
- Barack Obama/Labor, Immigration and Retirement Policy
- Barack Obama/National Security and Foreign Policy
- Barack Obama/Rights, Liberties and Courts Policy
- Barack Obama/Communications, Science and Intellectual Property
- Barack Obama/Social Policy
- Barack Obama/Controversies
- Project Vote Smart's database of Obama's interest group ratings, Obama's important votes, McCain's important votes and McCain's interest group ratings.