The Pelosi Controversy: Some (Legal) Context
SLevinson at law.utexas.edu
Mon Apr 9 20:30:37 PDT 2007
I continue to believe that insufficient attention is being paid to the fact that Speaker Pelosi (wisely or not, constitutionally or not) is only two heartbeats from the presidency and thus has both a personal and a public-regarding interest in being reasonably well-prepared to take over the White House on a moment's notice. Does anyone on this list know what briefings she gets from the CIA?
I'm also curious if some of the more feverish "we must speak with one voice" arguments would extend to putting limits on the NYTimes, for example, from sending Tom Friedman to Damascus to ask Assad his reaction to a proposal floated on the floor of Congress to offer Syria some boon if they would crack down on Hamas, etc..... I'm sure that Tom F. is distinguishable from Pelosi--among other things, he's not in line to be President--but exactly why? Does the 1st Amendment give him or the NYTimes more rights than the Speaker or the collective House?
I suppose I'm beginning to feel that this is just one more area where the recourse to legalistic argument is highly unlikely to be illuminating, even to lawyers.
- Sanford Levinson
(Sent from a Blackberry)
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