Speaking of the presidential oath to protect the Constitution on ABC-TV on November 6, 1999, Bill Clinton said, “I was right to stand and fight for my country and its constitution and its principles” during his time of impeachment. The abiding record, however, will include federal district judge Susan Webber Wright’s finding that during the president’s deposition in the Paula Jones case, Clinton violated “this court’s orders by giving false, misleading, and evasive answers that were designed to obstruct the judicial process. … He has engaged in misconduct that undermines the integrity of the judicial system.”

But apart from his violations of federal criminal law that went far beyond the “trysts” with Monica Lewinsky, the Clinton legacy involves his attacks on the fundamental constitutional right, habeas corpus, that Thomas Jefferson urged James Madison to put in the clearest, strongest terms in the Constitution.

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