Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On Executive Power

Jack Balkin, a professor of constitutional law at Yale Law School, has an editorial in The Guardian today that addresses the executive power dilemma Obama faces that I mentioned here the other day. Those Bulldogs gotta stop ripping off my ideas. Anyway, Balkin's piece addresses some specific issues Obama needs to confront and the danger of having all this power and popularity - a situation Bush never really enjoyed. Bush was popular before he came up with all his nifty executive tools, but by the time he started using them - and we found out about them - his popularity began its nose-dive.

Balkin also runs a great, wonky legal blog, Balkinazition, that I really like. And if you go check it out and run into a guy named "Bart DePalma" on the message boards (he's always there) go ahead and rip into him. He deserves it. You'll see.

An excerpt from Balkin's editorial:

"Giving up power is harder than it sounds. Obama's attorney general will have to craft new limits and new methods of accountability. This, in turn, may invite intense scrutiny of what happened in the immediate past. Both Congress and the public may demand to know about secret orders and opinions authorising torture, domestic spying or other forms of illegal activity. Obama and his advisers will have to decide whether political prudence and national security require them to conceal the previous administration's dirty little secrets."

Oh, David Addington. I'll miss you most of all.

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