Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Strict construction v. inherent powers
Strict construction v. inherent powers
Robert Schlesinger

Conservatives' ultimate goal for the judiciary branch of the government is a bench full of strict constructionists. Conservatives loudly decry judges who peer into the Constitution and find new rights, laws, etc.

We now know that the Bush administration -- which lays claim to the title of conservative, though many honest cons that I know either shudder or chuckle at the notion -- has been spying on U.S. citizens at home in apparent contravention of publicly-known law.

How are they able to do this? At least in part because , according to Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, the president has "inherent authority under the Constitution" to institute the program.

Does anyone else see any tension between decrying jurists who find new powers/rights/etc in the Constitution and chief executives (or their lawyers) who do so?