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John Hinderaker (A.K.A. Assrocket) has a great take on today's ruling regarding the "Ethel Mertz Terrorist Surveillance Program."  I'm not sure how to describe it, but it definately is one for the books.  Too bad it's just an addendum to a post by Scott JohnsonPaul Mirengoff rather than his enlightened analysis.

The first sentence provides all the hypocrisy and projection that one could hope for.

I recall being taught as a preschooler that "just because" isn't a good argument.

Funny, I thought every decision this administration has made so far has been based on the "just because" argument.  Certainly that's the case with this program.

But it gets better, and you can read on below.

After discussing song titles and how they relate to Youngstown Sheet and Tube he has this great statement.
But Presidential powers aren't a tide; they don't ebb and flow; they are as set forth in Article II of the Constitution.

He's right.  But I don't recall the passage that gives the President the power to violate the Constitution, which this program does in spades.

The very next sentence may be the one of the best statements ever to come from Assrocket's mouth (emphasis mine):

Congress cannot make the President's powers "ebb" by disagreeing with a Presidential action or purporting to ablosih a Presidential power, any more than the President can cause Congress's powers to "ebb" by disagreeing with a duly enacted statute. (He can, of course, veto the statute, but that is one of his prescribed powers, as is Congress's ability to override the veto.)

Two words.  Signing Statements
Oddly enough, he follows this up with a statement that almost makes me hopeful (until I consider the source).
Nor can Congress empower the President to take an otherwise unconstitutional action by agreeing with him, thereby creating a "flood tide."

In other words, even if Specter passes a retroactive law giving the President the power to perform this surveillance program, John Hinderaker doesn't believe that law would be constitutional.

I must admit I haven't read the decision in full, so I can't really tell you what Assrocket is saying with the final sentences of his addition.  It could well be (and almost certainly is) that even after reading the decision he would still appear to me to be completely convoluted.

Perhaps one of our legal scholars/experts can add more substance than I to the crux of Assrocket's argument. However, the fact that he's simultaneously agreeing with and arguing against the Administration was just too good not to share with you guys even if I have no informed commentary of my own to provide.

Originally posted to guyermo on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 08:39 PM PDT.

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