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    Repiglican Roast

    A spirited discussion of public policy and current issues

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    Location: The mouth of being

    I'm furious about my squandered nation.

    Thursday, March 13, 2008

    President by Election Tampering who thinks he's King

    Idiot's Choice

    Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the freshman senator who ousted Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) in 2006, said he'd reviewed three documents that outlined Justice Department opinions.

    "For years, under the Bush administration, the Office of Legal Counsel within the Department of Justice has issued highly classified, secret legal opinions related to surveillance," Whitehouse said in a Dec. 7, 2007 floor statement. "This is an administration that hates answering to an American court, that wants to grade its own exams, and OLC is the inside place the administration goes to get legal support for its spying program."

    "As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I was given access to those secret opinions and spent hours poring over them. Sitting in that secure room, as a lawyer, as a former U.S. attorney, legal counsel to Rhode Island's Governor, and State attorney general, I was increasingly dismayed and amazed as I read on," he continued.

    Whitehouse gave two examples from the documents he read:

    An Executive order cannot limit a President. There is no constitutional requirement for a President to issue a new Executive order whenever he wishes to depart from the terms of a previous Executive order. Rather than violate an Executive order, the President has instead modified or waived it.

    The President, exercising his constitutional authority under article II, can determine whether an action is a lawful exercise of the President's authority under article II.

    In other words, the president can decide whether his own interpretation of the law is lawful.

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