10/15/2005: The 'Other' Stealth Issue of Harriet Miers...
The NY Times has a good Op-Ed piece about the position of Harriet Miers on the role and reach of the Presidency and Executive Priviledges:
Licence to Torture:
"THE most profound issue that will face the Supreme Court in the coming years is not the one animating many of the conservatives angry at Harriet Miers's nomination to the court, abortion. It is presidential power.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush and his lawyers have asserted again and again that the "war on terror" clothes the president as commander in chief with extraordinary, unilateral power - the power, for example, to designate an American citizen as an enemy combatant and imprison him indefinitely, without trial or a real opportunity to demonstrate innocence.
The right to legal abortion is a subject that moves millions of Americans, con and pro. But the claim of essentially unchecked presidential power goes to the very nature of the American political system.
Harriet Miers has no public record on these issues. But Professor Yoo, writing in The Washington Post after her nomination, said, "She may be one of the key supporters in the Bush administration of staying the course on legal issues arising from the war on terrorism." He did not explain.
When one becomes a Supreme Court justice, the magnitude of the issues facing the court and the burden of final decision may change previously held views. Justice Robert H. Jackson candidly said so in 1950, when as a justice he disavowed a position he had earlier taken as attorney general.
Claims of presidential power during wartime have particularly large consequences today. In the past, when a president made such claims, the war involved lasted a limited time. The war on terrorism has no definable end. In passing judgment on these issues, the justices of the Supreme Court will be defining American freedom for the future. They should guide by the light of Justice O'Connor's statement last year in the Hamdi case:
"A state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens."
Karen on 10.15.05 @ 08:11 AM CST