“You’ve stated precisely the right question. It’s interesting that in his signing statement, Bush appeals to the “constitutional authority of the President” and the “constitutional limitations on the judicial power,” but nowhere mentions the constitutional authority of Congress, which includes the powers: “To declare War, grant Letters of Marqe and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water,” “To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces,” and, “To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations” (U.S. Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 8). It seems that even a strict constructionist would have to concede that Title X falls well within these powers.”

We’re not talking strict constructionism here. We’re talking about a president who believes that he alone can determine any policy even vaguely related to a war that he has redefined as a permanent condition for the indefinite future. My best guess is that we’ve only begun to find out what powers he has secretly assigned to himself. I certainly don’t trust him not to authorize torture again in the future. The only recourse is the press and the Congress. The Courts are in the process of being stacked with men and women completely deferent to executive power. I’m beginning to believe that Democratic retaking of at least one half of the Congress this year is essential to resisting the potential dangers of our current situation. And I’d say the same if we had a Democratic president with Bush’s contempt for the rule of law, and if the Republicans were the party in opposition.

– posted by Andrew.


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