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View Diary: What A "Unitary Executive" Means - President As King (243 comments)

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  •  I don't think what you say (none)

    is what Alito and his ilk think it means.  I think Alito thinks that the power includes signing statements (line-item veto or complete rewrite of law depending on how it is useded) or the simple right to ignore the law and Bill of Rights whenever the President deems it appropriate in "and emergency or war".  This is the crux of the issue.  Alito must be forced to define the real limits.  Alito must be forced to either admit the Pres is King or refute his past beliefs about the power of der Fuhrer...err...President.

    Reichstag fire is to Hitler as 9/11 is to Bush

    by praedor on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 10:34:51 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Ask about the "Vesting Clause"! (none)
      The "unitary executive" theory is about control.

      The related argument about the "vesting clause" is about scope.

      Congress's vesting of legislative power is enumerated and narrow according the "herein granted" clause.

      The President's vesting clause is broad and general and implies a broad range on unenumerated powers. There's no "herein granted" for that vesting clause; it just says "executive power" is vested in the presidency.

      Now the question is what that general grant of executive power means.

      Or, that's the argument anyway.

      So the senators who are just asking about the "unitary executive" are asking the wrong question. They should be asking about the general grant of "executive power" and how Alito understands that clause and the associated literature.

    •  Signing Statements (none)
      I thought I heard Alito say that at the time he wrote that he was not the one making the decisions and that he agrees the Reagan era position statements it represents have been pretty clearly shot down by subsequent rulings.

      Its generally wise not to underestimate your adversary so I'm willing to allow he's a reasonably smart guy and knows he has some choices to make.

      He's on the record that the people have a right to rely on the positions of the court.

      He's on the record that nobody is above the law.

      He's on the record that the Congress is the branch that makes the law.

      He's on the record that the supreme court is not supposed to go against the manifest will of congress.

      You have to allow that what these congressmen are saying to him and what he is agreeing to are every bit as much, if not more, of a signing statement than anything the president issues.

      •  So What? (none)
        He's not going to comment on specifics, and even if he did and reversed himself later, what would Congress do?  Impeach?  No, he can say whatever he thinks they want to hear about his intentions and unless he somehow impeaches his own integrity (more explicitly than the Vanguard matter) I doubt anyone could really make an issue of it at all.

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