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Presidential Power, Part II

Monday, December 19, 2005  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Part I is here.

Senator Russ Feingold displays either his lack of basic knowledge about the Constitution or his willingness to pose for the cameras, or his hypocrisy, or all of the above:

“There’s two ways you can do this kind of wiretapping under our law. One is through the criminal code, Title III; the other is through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. That’s it. That’s the only way you can do it. You can’t make up a law and deriving it from the Afghanistan resolution.”

Questions for Feingold:

Does the Constitution give the president any powers?

What are they?

Do they include the power to stop imminent attacks on the United States?

Does the Congress have to approve the president’s action to prevent imminent attacks?

Does the power to stop imminent attacks also include the power to learn of imminent attacks?

Etc. Etc.

Feingold wants to be president, btw. As does Hillary. What’s Hillary think of the inherent powers of the presidency?

Here is Feingold on September 14, 2001:

Like any legislation, this resolution is not perfect. I have some concern that readers may misinterpret the preamble language that the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism as a new grant of power; rather it is merely a statement that the President has existing constitutional powers. I am gratified that in the body of this resolution, it does not contain a broad grant of powers, but is appropriately limited to those entities involved in the attacks that occurred on September 11. And I am particularly gratified that this resolution explicitly abides by and invokes the War Powers Resolution.

So Feingold of December of 2005 is dismissive of Feingold of September, 2001? What a fraud.

In 1999, the ACLU argued that President Clinton’s actions concerning Kosovo violated the Constitution. Other scholars took the position that the Constitution gave Clinton all the authority he needed to embark upon the campaign in Kosovo. Here’s an abstract of a John Woo article on that debate. Whatever one believes about Kosovo, no one can seriously argue that the power to send Americans into combat is less significant than the power to conduct surveillance on Americans who are plotting to attack the U.S.

The powers of the president concerning war and as Commander-in-Chief do not change upon the Democrat leaving and the Republican entering office.

Too bad almost none of the big name television anchors know a whit about the Constitution or the particulars of this debate. If they did, they could ask Russ Feingold, Chuck Schumer and the rest of the Ahab Democrats some very telling questions.

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