Bench Memos

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War Powers Round-Up


In today’s Washington Post, Fred Barbash makes an argument similar to the one Adam Cohen made in Monday’s New York Times (see my post on Cohen here): that Congress has a rightful power and even a duty under the Constitution to engage in “micromanagement” of the conduct of war (Barbash’s word, and his quotes—he claims the term is a caricature but apparently cannot think of a better one). For a more persuasive and thoughtful understanding of the constitutional crossroads where the presidency meets the Congress, see David Rivkin and Lee Casey’s “Constitutional Warp” in today’s Wall Street Journal (subscribers only, more’s the pity)

And for comic relief, see James Bamford in today’s New York Times, who seems to want George W. Bush frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs for “commit[ting] a serious felony” by ordering warrantless electronic surveillance measures during wartime. He relies on the risible reasoning of Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, in her August ruling on the application of FISA to the terrorist surveillance program whose existence was revealed by the Times. Bamford doesn’t bother to mention that Taylor’s ruling was stayed within a day by the Sixth Circuit. Details, details.


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