Monday, December 19, 2005

Hugh Hewitt on Presidential Powers

I disagreed with Hugh on the Harriet Meirs nomination. I really like what I see him posting on this NSA non-scandal scandal. There is a scandal here but it involves the NYT, not the presidential order. Also, this is not an issue that someone like me can have an informed opinion on. This is a matter of constitutional law that the Supreme Court has never, apparently, ruled on explicitly. Hugh's arguments in support of the President's power to authorize these intercepts is pretty complete and I see no major holes. That said, I am not a constitutional attorney so a good ConLaw professor (which Hugh is) could probably sound real convincing to a propeller head like me and be wrong.

On the flip side, I haven't yet run across any viable arguments that suggest, given what little we know, there is reason to suspect that the President does not have such authority. As I said in an earlier post, I always thought this was the case and never had an issue with it. Hugh, aside from being a ConLaw prof at a major law school was also the special assistant to the AG in charge of FISA warrants for about a year. Not too many folks out there with credentials that top that on this particular topic.

In listening to Hugh's show, it is also worth noting that, unlike Harriet, Hugh and I agree on something that we are all allowed to have on opinion on. This thing is a political dog for the Dems. Most Americans will want the President to have such powers. If it is determined that Hugh is wrong, legally, the majority of Americans will want a change in the law. If it is determined that he is right, which is my guess, they will resent the party of non-defense to take it on the chin in the next election. Right or wrong legally, this is a political winner for President Bush.

Hugh's posts:



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