The Corner

Dept. of Overstatements

Andrew Sullivan writes:

The key thing to remember about Bush’s nominees: they are all completely craven with respect to the executive’s powers in wartime. And wartime is now defined as: for ever. In my view, the real upshot of the Court’s shift under Bush may well be not in terms of the usual culture-war battles, but in terms of unrestricted executive power – to detain without charge, to cover up its own actions, and to torture. To do that, you have to get the Court out of the way. That’s what Cheney is doing; and what Roberts and Alito will support. Only the Congress will be able to stop the executive from now on.

Me: Really? They are all completely craven? Each and every one of them? Some of them aren’t merely “unduly deferential”? Or perhaps even merely “deferential? Each and every single one of them is “completely craven”?

And Bush wants “unrestricted executive power”? Not merely broader executive power? Not, perhaps, the executive power held by previous presidents? But unrestricted power. Interesting. And judges in the mold of Sam Alito and John Roberts gets him a lot closer to this goal, and not a little closer, but a lot. Because they are “completely craven” with respect to government power in wartime — which Bush has declared permanent. Got it.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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