February 20, 2007

DECLARATIONS DON'T TRUMP THE CONSTITUTION:

The Most Anemic Branch (Bruce Fein, February 19, 2007, Politico)

The diminishment of the legislative branch will not end with the administration of President Bush unless the next president declares that:

-- Signing statements would end.

-- Criminal prosecutions or courts-martial would substitute for military commissions.

-- Secret evidence or testimony extracted by torture or coercion would be excluded.

-- Citizens would not be detained indefinitely as unlawful enemy combatants on the president's say-so alone.

-- All secret spying programs would be disclosed to the relevant congressional committees.

-- The National Security Agency would be precluded from gathering foreign intelligence without warrants in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, as amended six times since 9/11, or its sister statutes.

-- Executive privilege would not be invoked to deny Congress information necessary to oversight.

-- The Great Writ of habeas corpus would be restored to all detainees held in the custody or control of the United States.

-- No individual or organization would be listed as a foreign terrorist or global terrorist organization without a fair hearing.

-- Persons would not be abducted, detained, and tortured in secret prisons abroad.

-- The media would not be prosecuted for publishing national defense or classified information like the CIA's secret prisons in Europe or the Nati
As the whole FISA kerfuffle demonstrates, a president can't actually cede the power of the executive branch.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 20, 2007 7:37 AM
Comments

This reads like Murtha's fantasy wish list, or al-Qaida's--but I repeat myself.

Posted by: Mike Morley at February 20, 2007 8:10 AM

Essentially, Bruce Fein wants the next president to bend over to a "superior Congress," which allegedly is supposed to be the way the Framers organized things. Never mind the fact that the American people made their peace with the strong executive when Lincoln was in office.

Get back to me on this when Congress learns to take responsibility for the laws it expects the Supreme Court to overturn.

Posted by: Brad S at February 20, 2007 9:26 AM

Bruce Fein is an idiot. Does he support Kucinich for President?

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 20, 2007 10:15 AM

This Fein guy seems to expect the next President to not only serve up a plate of home-made Mountain Oysters to Congress but to personally provide the basic ingredient. (St. Hillary can subsititute Senator Bill's, since gelding him will be part of her campaign.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 20, 2007 11:04 AM

More evidence that the far right and far left are the same.

I particularly love:

"-- No individual or organization would be listed as a foreign terrorist or global terrorist organization without a fair hearing."

Snort.

Posted by: Bob at February 20, 2007 11:54 AM

The media would not be prosecuted for publishing national defense or classified information => the media is authorized to leak national security, or whatever policies they don't like, or to leak whatever secrets to boost its ratings or circulation. Judges can be impeached, presidents can be impeached,congressmen can go to jail, but the media are untouchables. They can print anything they fancy, true or not true, they are not accountable. Chutzpah?

Posted by: ic at February 20, 2007 2:56 PM
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