Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Democrats and Documents


The Democrats are acting like they think they will never be in charge of the Executive Branch again.

It’s ironic, for example, that Sen. John Kerry–who fought tooth and nail the public’s right to see his third-rate academic performance in college and his military records–would irresponsibly demand documents subject to the highest privilege the law allows and disclosure of which both Democratic and Republican solicitors general have said would greatly undermine the operations of the office.

These solicitors general know it is important for the Executive Branch to keep certain deliberations private, when they involve national security or other sensitive issues, and to ensure that the president–whatever his party–gets honest and candid legal advice so he can act on behalf of the American people based on the best legal advice.

I wonder if the senators demanding privileged documents will be willing, in their next election campaign, to turn over all of the memos they have received giving them legal and policy advice. After all, those documents would be just as much the property of the taxpayers as privileged legal documents from the solicitor general’s office.


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