Three "leftists" on Alito

Today’s New York Times claims that “the left” wants the Democrats on the
Judiciary Committee to get tougher with Alito.

“The left”? Is it “left-wing” to insist on the separation of powers? Is it “leftists”
who won’t want the president to wield imperial authority? Apparently the Founding Fathers were a bunch of socialists.

Here are three strong “leftist” pieces on the threat posed by Alito’s nomination and those Democrats (and sane Republicans, if there are any left) who won’t oppose the will of George I.

George Bush’s rough justice

The career of the latest supreme court nominee has been marked by his hatred of liberalism

Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday January 12, 2006
The Guardian

“If the president deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?” “No treaty,” replied John Yoo, the former justice department official who wrote the crucial memos justifying President Bush’s policies on torture, detainees and domestic surveillance without warrants.

Yoo publicly debated last month the radical notion of the “unitary executive” – that the president, as commander-in-chief, is sole judge of the law, unbound by hindrances such as the Geneva conventions, and has inherent authority to subordinate independent government agencies to his fiat. This is the cornerstone of the Bush legal doctrine.

Yoo’s interlocutor, Douglass Cassel, a professor at the Notre Dame law school, pointed out that the theory of the unitary executive posits the president above other branches of government: “Also no law by Congress. That is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo.”

“I think it depends on why the president thinks he needs to do that,” said Yoo.

The “unitary executive” is nothing less than “gospel”, declared the federal judge Samuel Alito in 2000 – it is a theory that “best captures the meaning of the constitution’s text and structure”. Alito’s belief was perhaps the paramount credential for his nomination by Bush to the supreme court.

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