Decider or Dictator


The line is getting perilously thin.

Think Progress highlights a floor speech by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), a former U.S. Attorney who spent hours pouring over the classified legal briefs of the Bush's Office of Legal Counsel. He was "dismayed" by what he uncovered. He got declassified a pair of legal assertions that should make every constitution loving American's blood run cold. They say, effectively, that the President's constitutional authorities are checked only by his own interpretations of them, and that he cannot be second-guessed by the Department of Justice. This is, in an acronym, FUBAR:

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.

The Department of Justice is bound by the President's legal determinations.

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