Thursday, February 16, 2006

Strict Construction

The Post's George Will makes a good point. Why is it that all these Republicans, who harp on constantly about the need to "strictly construe" a statute, and to not read a broader meaning into a law or a right than the drafters of that law or right intended, now suggest that the authorization for the use of force that was passed by Congress granted the President powers far beyond what it actually says?

Anyway, the argument that the AUMF contained a completely unexpressed congressional intent to empower the president to disregard the FISA regime is risible coming from this administration. It famously opposes those who discover unstated meanings in the Constitution's text and do not strictly construe the language of statutes.

Indeed. And really, if Bill Clinton had made this argument, would Republicans be lining up to say, sure, he's the CIC and he has inherent powers to do whatever he wants? When we win back the Presidency (okay, if), will they still argue that he has those powers? Or will suddenly the GWOT be over and we have to go back to Congress not defering to the President?

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