It's probably bad for Obama, probably bad for his enemies, and certainly bad for America
The Accountable Presidency
February 01, 2010
Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush By John Yoo (Kaplan, 544 pp., $29.95) Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State By Garry Wills (Penguin, 288 pp., $27.95) I. In December 2008, Chris Wallace asked Vice President Cheney, “If the president, during war, decides to do something to protect the country, is it legal?” Cheney’s answer included a reference to a military authority that President Bush did not exercise.
February 20, 2006
SUPREME RETORT I THINK THERE IS SERIOUS CONFUSION as to what the theory of the "unitary executive" entails ("Against Alito," January 30). Justice Antonin Scalia's famous dissent in Morrison v. Olson is an example of one interpretation of the theory, which holds that executive power lies with the president, and that no "person whose actions are not fully with the supervision and control" of the president can seize it. The issue in Morrison was the law that provided for the appointment of an independent counsel.
March 04, 2004
The snickering began as soon as the shock from the 1994 election wore off. The Republicans had won back the Senate, and Alfonse D'Amato would become chairman of the Senate committee looking into Whitewater. Al D'Amato? The name was synonymous with sleaze. Would anyone take an ethics investigation under his direction seriously? Probably not--or at least not without the help D'Amato has received from a New Jersey prosecutor with an ethical record that is the reverse image of his own.
May 29, 2000
All last week, moralizing pundits urged New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to drop out of the New York Senate race because his personal life had become extraordinarily embarrassing. I don't know whether he will take their advice; at press time, he said he was inclined to run. For the sake of the nation, he should. Giuliani has given us the first pristine example of adultery in the post-Gary Hart era, uncluttered by the usual ginned-up secondary charges of perjury, abuse of power, and hypocrisy.
April 10, 2000
The New Yorkers driven to the brink of riot last week by the shooting of Patrick Dorismond claim that Mayor Rudy Giuliani's zero-tolerance policy against crime has turned their city into a police state. Giuliani's defenders respond, in effect, that you have to take the bitter with the sweet. Yes, the shootings of Dorismond and Amadou Diallo are regrettable; but they are the inevitable side effect of the aggressive policing that has sent crime rates plummeting in New York and around the nation.
April 26, 1999
Ordinarily, a witness who changes her story in a way that makes herself an object of ridicule or disgrace is viewed as more credible rather than more suspicious: the law of evidence calls this a statement against interest.
February 08, 1999
The witnesses are coming! In their opening arguments during the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton, the House managers seemed to convince a majority of senators to call witnesses to resolve disputed factual questions. The president's lawyers responded that witnesses are unnecessary because "you have before you all that you need" to conclude that there was no basis for the House to impeach the president or the Senate to convict him.
December 14, 1998
"You have no right or authority under the law, as independent counsel, to advocate for a particular position on the evidence before the Judiciary Committee," Sam Dash wrote to Kenneth Starr last week, announcing his decision to resign as Starr's $400-an-hour ethics adviser. But Dash's frantic attempt to save his tattered reputation after Starr's appearance before the House was several months too late.