Presidents, Hegemony and Law
jr167163e at mail1.umt.edu
Sun Feb 26 21:47:43 PST 2006
Dr. Wilson's analogy is imperfect. Had Roosevelt pursued the New Deal by decree, indeed, by secret decree, instead of going to Congress for legislation, then Dr. Wilson might have something. Roosevelt, as reflected when he lost his court-packing effort, showed a certain degree of respect to the separation of powers. Indeed, the constitutionality of the social security act was debated in Congress. The legislation was enacted and Roosevelt was re-elected.
Those people in the current administration seem to have little respect for either of the other two branches. They could have sought an amendment to FISA and probably would have gotten it, but they chose to go it alone. They could have asked Congress to amend the UCMJ, but chose to obtain a secret legal memorandum of dubious quality to justify their maltreatment of the captured enemy, of captured or kidnapped civilians, and of American citizens.
Prof. Jeffrey T. Renz
School of Law
The University of Montana
Missoula, Montana 59812
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