Calls for AG Barr’s Impeachment Intensify After ‘Lunatic Authoritarian’ Federalist Society Speech

  
Via:  john-russell  •  4 weeks ago  •  64 comments

Calls for AG Barr’s Impeachment Intensify After ‘Lunatic Authoritarian’ Federalist Society Speech
“I encourage everyone to read Bill Barr’s viciously partisan speech to [the Federalist Society],” tweeted Fordham Law Professor Jed Shugerman. “Its hackery and intellectual dishonesty is an utter embarrassment to the DOJ, [Federalist Society], and to all of us (yes, me, too) who try to be intellectually honest about textualism [and] original public meaning.”

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Attorney General  Bill Barr  launched into an emotional tirade against “the left” at an annual meeting of the conservative Federalist Society on Friday evening. Now, lawyers and legal commentators are intensifying calls for Barr’s impeachment.

Barr’s eyebrow-raising speech was widely-panned after a video of the following portion made the rounds on social media:


Unfortunately through the past few years we have seen these conflicts take on an entirely new character. Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they called ‘The Resistance’ and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver to sabotage the functioning of the executive branch and his administration. The fact of the matter is: that in waging a scorched earth, no holds-barred war of resistance against this administration, it is the left that is engaged in the systemic shredding of norms and undermining the rule of law.

The Federalist Society is a judicial activism group which pushes for an “originalist” understanding of the U.S. Constitution and a return to pre-New Deal interpretations of law. The organization has been heavily involved in staffing President  Donald Trump ‘s judicial picks– essentially serving as a pipeline for conservative federal judges .

“This is a very dangerous and indeed incendiary notion to import into the politics of a Democratic republic,” Barr continued before the elite group of right-wing lawyers in Washington, D.C. “The fact is, that, yes, while the president has certainly thrown out the traditional beltway playbook and punctilio, he was upfront about what he was going to do and the people decided that he was going to serve as president.”

“Another lunatic authoritarian speech as Barr goes from attacking ‘radical secularists ‘ [at Notre Dame Law School] to one month later attacking the ‘resistance’ at [the Federalist Society],”  tweeted former White House ethics counsel   Richard Painter . “Impeach Barr now!”

“Bill Barr is the type of bare knuckles lawyer the Church would have hired thirty years ago to cover up sex abuse cases,”  Painter added . “The bishop would have been someone like Rep.  Jim Jordan . Neither of these men belong anywhere near the impeachment inquiry.”

Rep.  Bill Pascrell  (D-N.J.) echoed that call late Saturday morning.

“Yesterday AG Barr addressed a radical political group and gave one of the most vicious partisan screeds ever uttered by a US cabinet officer,”  Pascrell tweeted . “Barr says trump should have king-like powers. Barr is a liar and a fanatic and should be impeached and stripped of his law licenses.”

Jeff Hauser  is an attorney and the Director of the Revolving Door Project, a nonprofit focused on exposing political corruption.

In light of Barr’s speech,  Hauser shared an article  he previously co-authored with  Max Moran  calling for Barr’s impeachment.

“[I]f Democrats are going to uncover more information through aggressive hearings and ultimately impeach the president, they need to recognize their most powerful adversary: Attorney General William Barr,”  the Daily Beast op-ed notes .

Hauser and Moran’s case also implicated foreign policy:


Barr has not just failed in his duty to carry out and enforce the law as attorney general. He has also used the power of his office to go after Trump’s enemies. We now know that he has served as a leading “diplomat” for a sort of shadow “the president is the state” foreign policy, conducted with at least the United Kingdom, Italy, and Australia. Barr is a leader in a broad administration effort to demand that U.S. allies aide Trump in legitimizing, maintaining and strengthening his personal hold on power.

“Barr, in other words, is a key target of any investigation into Trump’s seemingly criminal abuse of power,” the article continues. “This gives Democrats ample justification to zero in on the attorney general.”

The two-time attorney general also laid into critics of the controversial “ unitary executive theory ” of the presidency which supporters argue gives the president unfettered and total control over the executive branch.

“One of the more amusing aspects is these breathless attacks on the unitary executive theory,” Barr said, before mocking opponents.

Federal defense attorney and computer law expert  Tor Ekeland  rubbished the concept in response to Barr’s Federalist Society paean to ever-increasing presidential power.

Instead of the ‘theory of the unitary executive’ let’s just start calling it what it is – the theory of the fascist executive,”  he tweeted .

Several other legal commentators slammed Barr’s remarks.

“I encourage everyone to read Bill Barr’s viciously partisan speech to [the Federalist Society],”  tweeted Fordham Law Professor   Jed   Shugerman . “Its hackery and intellectual dishonesty is an utter embarrassment to the DOJ, [Federalist Society], and to all of us (yes, me, too) who try to be intellectually honest about textualism [and] original public meaning.”

American Civil Liberties Union attorney  Josh Block   noted that Barr received a standing ovation  from the audience and called both speech and the praise it received “sickening.”

“This is so outrageously inappropriate for an AG to be saying,”  noted former federal prosecutor   Mimi Rocah . “You are the head of the DOJ for all Americans not just the ones in the Federalist Society. Please start acting like it.”

Sherrilyn Ifill  is the  President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She also had some words for Barr’s telling Friday speech–noting her long opposition to the attorney general.

“I have warned for some time that AG Barr is the most alarming figure in the Administration,”  Ifill tweeted . “A true believer who has been waiting for his moment and pitched hard for this job. He has an agenda and political view that is lockstep with Trump.”

The incendiary speech also prompted the widespread use of #ImpeachBarr and #DisbarBarr hashtags on Twitter–criticism that was only amplified after people realized Barr’s broadside against left-leaning lawsuits and subpoenas was promoted by the Department of Justice’s official Twitter account.


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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    4 weeks ago
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Steve Vladeck
@steve_vladeck

It’s not just that the Attorney General of the United States said these things; it’s that his audience at the @ FedSoc convention gave him a standing ovation for doing so.https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-william-p-barr-delivers-19th-annual-barbara-k-olson-memorial-lecture" > https://www. justice.gov/opa/speech/att orney-general-william-p-barr-delivers-19th-annual-barbara-k-olson-memorial-lecture 

The executive power passages were deeply hypocritical; this is downright offensive.

EJgOQpYWoAEgOLR.jpg:large

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1  Heartland American  replied to  JohnRussell @1    4 weeks ago

Barr was right about absolutely everything that he said in his speech last night.  He deserved the standing ovation he got.  What he said about the left in general and the resistance in particular was perfect and right on!  👏👍🇺🇸

 
 
 
Dulay
1.1.1  Dulay  replied to  Heartland American @1.1    4 weeks ago
Barr was right about absolutely everything that he said in his speech last night.  He deserved the standing ovation he got.  What he said about the left in general and the resistance in particular was perfect and right on!  👏👍🇺🇸

Then you should be able to explain why Barr felt he needed to use the following definition of 'resistance' to Trump . 

Barr said: 

Now, “resistance” is the language used to describe insurgency against rule imposed by an occupying military power.

That is NOT the definition that applies to the resistance in the US against Trump's policies. 

 
 
 
bugsy
1.1.2  bugsy  replied to  Dulay @1.1.1    4 weeks ago
That is NOT the definition that applies to the resistance in the US against Trump's policies. 

Nor was the resistance of policies of Obama throughout his 8 years, yet we were called "racist" at every turn.

 
 
 
Dulay
1.1.3  Dulay  replied to  bugsy @1.1.2    4 weeks ago
Nor was the resistance of policies of Obama throughout his 8 years,

Which we should be able to agree, actually began long before he was elected. 

Where did I say that it fit that definition? 

Strawman. 

yet we were called "racist" at every turn.

There IS an element that resisted Obama, even before he was elected, who did so because they are racists. "Birtherism' was and is a wholly racist posit which, because of his championing of that lie, puts Trump and many others squarely in the racist column. 

 
 
 
bugsy
1.1.4  bugsy  replied to  Dulay @1.1.3    4 weeks ago
Which we should be able to agree, actually began long before he was elected. 

Same with Trump, but you see no problem with it.

BTW, birtherism was started by Hillary's crew. Trump picked it up based on what Hillary and her crew stated. So, are you saying Hillary and her crew were racist?

Sounds like you are.

 
 
 
Dulay
1.1.5  Dulay  replied to  bugsy @1.1.4    4 weeks ago
Same with Trump, but you see no problem with it.

Seeing as how Trump started his campaign with racism, xenophobia and bigotry, no, I didn't have any issue with opposing his 'policies' from the start. 

BTW, birtherism was started by Hillary's crew.

jrSmiley_90_smiley_image.gif

Trump picked it up based on what Hillary and her crew stated.

Trump personally hammered away at it for over 5 YEARS. Cut the carp. 

So, are you saying Hillary and her crew were racist?

Name the person and I'll look into it. 

Sounds like you are.

You're hearing things. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  Dulay @1.1.5    4 weeks ago
Seeing as how Trump started his campaign with racism, xenophobia and bigotry, no, I didn't have any issue with opposing his 'policies' from the start. 

False statement.

 
 
 
Dulay
1.1.7  Dulay  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.6    4 weeks ago

I am viewing Texan's comments but ignoring them. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.8  Texan1211  replied to  Dulay @1.1.7    3 weeks ago

You ignoring my comments don't make your comments true.

 
 
 
Dulay
1.1.9  Dulay  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.8    3 weeks ago

I am viewing Texan's comments but ignoring them.

 
 
 
bugsy
1.1.10  bugsy  replied to  Dulay @1.1.9    3 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Dulay
1.1.11  Dulay  replied to  bugsy @1.1.4    3 weeks ago

BTW, I note that you didn't refute that Trump is squarely in the racist column. Awareness is a good thing. 

 
 
 
bugsy
1.1.12  bugsy  replied to  Dulay @1.1.11    3 weeks ago
you didn't refute

Sorry, but unlike many of you, I don't live on here 24/7.

As far as refuting something you can't prove, no reason to do so.You never have before, but to play your silly game, [deleted]

 
 
 
Dulay
1.1.13  Dulay  replied to  bugsy @1.1.12    3 weeks ago
Sorry, but unlike many of you, I don't live on here 24/7.

You had already replied to the comment I am referring to. 

As far as refuting something you can't prove, no reason to do so.

As I stated, Trump's 5 YEAR birtherism campaign is proof of his racism. 

You never have before,

Never have what? 

[Removed]

 
 
 
gooseisgone
1.1.14  gooseisgone  replied to  Dulay @1.1.13    3 weeks ago
Trump's 5 YEAR birtherism campaign is proof of his racism

What does birtherism and racism have to do with each other.  If you question anything about a black person your a racist, yeah.......go with that.

 
 
 
Dulay
1.1.15  Dulay  replied to  gooseisgone @1.1.14    3 weeks ago
What does birtherism and racism have to do with each other.  If you question anything about a black person your a racist, yeah.......go with that.

Obtuse. 

 
 
 
gooseisgone
1.1.16  gooseisgone  replied to  Dulay @1.1.15    3 weeks ago
Obtuse. 

In other words you can't defend your ridiculous charge. 

 
 
 
Dulay
1.1.17  Dulay  replied to  gooseisgone @1.1.16    3 weeks ago

[Removed]

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.18  Heartland American  replied to  gooseisgone @1.1.16    3 weeks ago

Exactly right!  

 
 
 
Dulay
1.1.19  Dulay  replied to  Dulay @1.1.17    3 weeks ago

[delete]

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.20  Texan1211  replied to  gooseisgone @1.1.14    3 weeks ago

Some folks still feel as if any criticism of Obama is and was solely because he IS a black man. They are unable to see that, as President, Obama is and was subjected to the same level of criticism that ALL Presidents endure.

I pity those fools!

 
 
 
Dulay
1.1.21  Dulay  replied to  gooseisgone @1.1.14    3 weeks ago
What does birtherism and racism have to do with each other. 

Why not ask Colin Powell? 

In recently leaked emails, Colin Powell, former secretary of state, National Security advisor and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote: “the whole birther movement was racist. That’s what the 99% believe. When Trump couldn’t keep that up he said he also wanted to see if the certificate (Obama’s birth certificate) noted that he was a Muslim.” Powell went on to describe Donald Trump as “a national disgrace and international pariah.” https://observer.com/2016/09/colin-powell-is-right-birtherism-is-racism/
 
 
 
JohnRussell
2  seeder  JohnRussell    4 weeks ago
The fact of the matter is: that in waging a scorched earth, no holds-barred war of resistance against this administration, it is the left that is engaged in the systemic shredding of norms and undermining the rule of law.

He could have stopped right there. After that sentence there is no other reason to give this jackass any further consideration. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
2.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  JohnRussell @2    4 weeks ago
The fact of the matter is: that in waging a scorched earth, no holds-barred war of resistance against this administration, it is the left that is engaged in the systemic shredding of norm

The left celebrates the Resistance and then throws a tantrum when someone points out the reality of what the Resistance consists of.

 
 
 
Dulay
2.1.1  Dulay  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1    3 weeks ago

I note that you truncated Barr's comment. Was that last part a bridge too far even for you? 

 
 
 
Heartland American
2.2  Heartland American  replied to  JohnRussell @2    4 weeks ago

He was right on and we applaud him for those remarks and praise him for standing up to the establishment and MBFC approved media.  

 
 
 
Tacos!
2.3  Tacos!  replied to  JohnRussell @2    4 weeks ago
After that sentence there is no other reason to give this jackass any further consideration

Why go that far? Why not engage the content and discuss it specifically?

Do you disagree that the Left he's referring to is "waging a no-holds barred war of resistance against this administration?" That sounds like something you might endorse.

I have to agree with him that there has been some "shredding of norms" by the Left. It's not normal, for example to call for a president's impeachment immediately after - and even before - he has taken office. There are other examples, of course, but that's the big one. 

On the other hand, I will acknowledge that I doubt "undermining the rule of law" is fair. That is rhetoric we see a lot in political debate. Many times when one branch of government resists the desires of another, we hear that kind of talk. It's often not fair because our system is actually designed to enable tension between the branches of government. All branches are trying to promote the rule of law, albeit with conflicting goals. Hence the common claim of undermining.

In many ways, it is Congress's job to undermine the president. Obviously the details of that depend on the circumstances.

 
 
 
Dulay
2.3.1  Dulay  replied to  Tacos! @2.3    3 weeks ago
Do you disagree that the Left he's referring to is "waging a no-holds barred war of resistance against this administration?" 

I do. 

I have to agree with him that there has been some "shredding of norms" by the Left. It's not normal, for example to call for a president's impeachment immediately after - and even before - he has taken office. There are other examples, of course, but that's the big one.

That 'norm' was shredded in 2008. 

That is rhetoric we see a lot in political debate.

Though it shreds the norm of what we expect from the Attorney General, who is charged with making life and death decisions on the rule of law. 

In many ways, it is Congress's job to undermine the president. Obviously the details of that depend on the circumstances.

How did you come to that conclusion? It sure as hell isn't in their job description. 

 
 
 
WallyW
2.4  WallyW  replied to  JohnRussell @2    4 weeks ago

He could have stopped right there. After that sentence there is no other reason to give this jackass any further consideration. 

But JR, that is exactly what  has been happening. Barr and Durham are going to put a stop to it.

What's with the Dems wanting to impeach everyone?  jrSmiley_86_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Heartland American
3  Heartland American    4 weeks ago

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery   https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-william-p-barr-delivers-19th-annual-barbara-k-olson-memorial-lecture

Good Evening.  Thank you all for being here.  And thank you to Gene [Meyer] for your kind introduction.

It is an honor to be here this evening delivering the 19 th  Annual Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture.  I had the privilege of knowing Barbara and had deep affection for her.  I miss her brilliance and ebullient spirit.  It is a privilege for me to participate in this series, which honors her. 

The theme for this year’s Annual Convention is “Originalism,” which is a fitting choice — though, dare I say, a somewhat “ un original” one for the Federalist Society.  I say that because the Federalist Society has played an historic role in taking originalism “mainstream.”  While other organizations have contributed to the cause, the Federalist Society has been in the vanguard.

A watershed for the cause was the decision of the American people to send Ronald Reagan to the White House, accompanied by his close advisor Ed Meese and a cadre of others who were firmly committed to an originalist approach to the law.  I was honored to work with Ed in the Reagan White House and be there several weeks ago when President Trump presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  As the President aptly noted, over the course of his career, Ed Meese has been among the Nation’s “most eloquent champions for following the Constitution as written.” 

I am also proud to serve as the Attorney General under President Trump, who has taken up that torch in his judicial appointments.  That is true of his two outstanding appointments to the Supreme Court, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh; of the many superb court of appeals and district court judges he has appointed, many of whom are here this week; and of the many outstanding judicial nominees to come, many of whom are also here this week.

***********

I wanted to choose a topic for this afternoon’s lecture that had an originalist angle.  It will likely come as little surprise to this group that I have chosen to speak about the Constitution’s approach to executive power.

I deeply admire the American Presidency as a political and constitutional institution.  I believe it is, one of the great, and remarkable innovations in our Constitution, and has been one of the most successful features of the Constitution in protecting the liberties of the American people.  More than any other branch, it has fulfilled the expectations of the Framers. 

Unfortunately, over the past several decades, we have seen steady encroachment on Presidential authority by the other branches of government.  This process I think has substantially weakened the functioning of the Executive Branch, to the detriment of the Nation.  This evening, I would like to expand a bit on these themes.

I.

First, let me say a little about what the Framers had in mind in establishing an independent Executive in Article II of the Constitution.

The grammar school civics class version of our Revolution is that it was a rebellion against monarchial tyranny, and that, in framing our Constitution, one of the main preoccupations of the Founders was to keep the Executive weak.  This is misguided.  By the time of the Glorious Revolution of 1689, monarchical power was effectively neutered and had begun its steady decline.  Parliamentary power was well on its way to supremacy and was effectively in the driver’s seat.  By the time of the American Revolution, the patriots well understood that their prime antagonist was an overweening Parliament.  Indeed, British thinkers came to conceive of Parliament, rather than the people, as the seat of Sovereignty. 

During the Revolutionary era, American thinkers who considered inaugurating a republican form of government tended to think of the Executive component as essentially an errand boy of a Supreme legislative branch.  Often the Executive (sometimes constituted as a multi-member council) was conceived as a creature of the Legislature, dependent on and subservient to that body, whose sole function was carrying out the Legislative will.  Under the Articles of Confederation, for example, there was no Executive separate from Congress. 

Things changed by the Constitutional Convention of 1787.  To my mind, the real “miracle” in Philadelphia that summer was the creation of a strong Executive, independent of, and coequal with, the other two branches of government.

The consensus for a strong, independent Executive arose from the Framers’ experience in the Revolution and under the Articles of Confederation.  They had seen that the War had almost been lost and was a bumbling enterprise because of the lack of strong Executive leadership.  Under the Articles of Confederation, they had been mortified at the inability of the United States to protect itself against foreign impositions or to be taken seriously on the international stage.  They had also seen that, after the Revolution, too many States had adopted constitutions with weak Executives overly subordinate to the Legislatures.  Where this had been the case, state governments had proven incompetent and indeed tyrannical.

From these practical experiences, the Framers had come to appreciate that, to be successful, Republican government required the capacity to act with energy, consistency and decisiveness.  They had come to agree that those attributes could best be provided by making the Executive power independent of the divided counsels of the Legislative branch and vesting the Executive power in the hands of a solitary individual, regularly elected for a limited term by the Nation as a whole. As Jefferson put it, ‘[F]or the prompt, clear, and consistent action so necessary in an Executive, unity of person is necessary….”

While there may have been some differences among the Framers as to the precise scope of Executive power in particular areas, there was general agreement about its nature.  Just as the great separation-of-powers theorists– Polybius, Montesquieu, Locke – had, the Framers thought of Executive power as a distinct specie of power.  To be sure, Executive power includes the responsibility for carrying into effect the laws passed by the Legislature – that is, applying the general rules to a particular situation.  But the Framers understood that Executive power meant more than this.

It also entailed the power to handle essential sovereign functions – such as the conduct of foreign relations and the prosecution of war – which by their very nature cannot be directed by a pre-existing legal regime but rather demand speed, secrecy, unity of purpose, and prudent judgment to meet contingent circumstances.  They agreed that – due to the very nature of the activities involved, and the kind of decision-making they require – the Constitution generally vested authority over these spheres in the Executive.  For example, Jefferson, our first Secretary of State, described the conduct of foreign relations as “Executive altogether,” subject only to the explicit exceptions defined in the Constitution, such as the Senate’s power to ratify Treaties.

A related, and third aspect of Executive power is the power to address exigent circumstances that demand quick action to protect the well-being of the Nation but on which the law is either silent or inadequate – such as dealing with a plague or natural disaster.  This residual power to meet contingency is essentially the federative power discussed by Locke in his Second Treatise.

And, finally, there are the Executive’s powers of internal management.  These are the powers necessary for the President to superintend and control the Executive function, including the powers necessary to protect the independence of the Executive branch and the confidentiality of its internal deliberations.  Some of these powers are express in the Constitution, such as the Appointment power, and others are implicit, such as the Removal power.

One of the more amusing aspects of modern progressive polemic is their breathless attacks on the “unitary executive theory.”  They portray this as some new-fangled “theory” to justify Executive power of sweeping scope. In reality, the idea of the unitary executive does not go so much to the breadth of Presidential power.  Rather, the idea is that, whatever the Executive powers may be, they must be exercised under the President’s supervision.  This is not “new,” and it is not a “theory.”  It is a description of what the Framers unquestionably did in Article II of the Constitution.

After you decide to establish an Executive function independent of the Legislature, naturally the next question is, who will perform that function?  The Framers had two potential models. They could insinuate “checks and balances” into the Executive branch itself by conferring Executive power on multiple individuals (a council) thus dividing the power.  Alternatively, they could vest Executive power in a solitary individual.  The Framers quite explicitly chose the latter model because they believed that vesting Executive authority in one person would imbue the Presidency with precisely the attributes necessary for energetic government.  Even Jefferson – usually seen as less of a hawk than Hamilton on Executive power – was insistent that Executive power be placed in “single hands,” and he cited the America’s unitary Executive as a signal feature that distinguished America’s success from France’s failed republican experiment.

The implications of the Framers’ decision are obvious.  If Congress attempts to vest the power to execute the law in someone beyond the control of the President, it contravenes the Framers’ clear intent to vest that power in a single person, the President.  So much for this supposedly nefarious theory of the unitary executive.

II.

We all understand that the Framers  expected  that the three branches would be jostling and jousting with each other, as each threatened to encroach on the prerogatives of the others.  They thought this was not only natural, but salutary, and they provisioned each branch with the wherewithal to fight and to defend itself in these interbranch struggles for power.

So let me turn now to how the Executive is presently faring in these interbranch battles.   I am concerned that the deck has become stacked against the Executive.  Since the mid-60s, there has been a steady grinding down of the Executive branch’s authority, that accelerated after Watergate.  More and more, the President’s ability to act in areas in which he has discretion has become smothered by the encroachments of the other branches. 

When these disputes arise, I think there are  two aspects  of contemporary thought that tend to operate to the disadvantage of the Executive. 

The  first  is the notion that politics in a free republic is all about the Legislative and Judicial branches protecting liberty by imposing restrictions on the Executive.  The premise is that the greatest danger of government becoming oppressive arises from the prospect of Executive excess.  So, there is a knee-jerk tendency to see the Legislative and Judicial branches as the good guys protecting society from a rapacious would-be autocrat.

This prejudice is wrong-headed and atavistic.  It comes out of the early English Whig view of politics and English constitutional experience, where political evolution was precisely that.  You started out with a King who holds all the cards; he holds all the power, including Legislative and Judicial.  Political evolution involved a process by which the Legislative power gradually, over hundreds of years, reigned in the King, and extracted and established its own powers, as well as those of the Judiciary.  A watershed in this evolution was, of course, the Glorious Revolution in 1689.

But by 1787, we had the exact opposite model in the United States.  The Founders greatly admired how the British constitution had given rise to the principles of a balanced government.  But they felt that the British constitution had achieved only an imperfect form of this model.  They saw themselves as framing a  more perfect  version of separation of powers and a balanced constitution.

Part of their more perfect construction was a new kind of Executive.  They created an office that was already the ideal Whig Executive.  It already had  built into it  the limitations that Whig doctrine aspired to.  It did not have the power to tax and spend; it was constrained by habeas corpus and by due process in enforcing the law against members of the body politic; it was elected for a limited term of office; and it was elected by the nation as whole.  That is a remarkable democratic institution – the only figure elected by the Nation as a whole.  With the creation of the American Presidency, the Whig’s obsessive focus on the dangers of monarchical rule lost relevance.

This fundamental shift in view was reflected in the Convention debates over the new frame of government.  Their concerns were very different from those that weighed on 17 th  century English Whigs.  It was not Executive power that was of so much concern to them; it was danger of the legislative branch, which they viewed as the most dangerous branch to liberty.  As Madison warned, the “legislative department is everywhere extending the sphere of its activity, and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex.”  And indeed, they viewed the Presidency as a check on the Legislative branch. 

The  second  contemporary way of thinking that operates against the Executive is a notion that the Constitution does not sharply allocate powers among the three branches, but rather that the branches, especially the political branches, “share” powers.  The idea at work here is that, because two branches both have a role to play in a particular area, we should see them as sharing power in that area and, it is not such a big deal if one branch expands its role within that sphere at the expense of the other.

This mushy thinking obscures what it means to say that powers are shared under the Constitution.  Constitution generally assigns broad powers to each of the branches in defined areas.  Thus, the Legislative power granted in the Constitution is granted to the Congress.  At the same time, the Constitution gives the Executive a specific power in the Legislative realm – the veto power. Thus, the Executive “shares” Legislative power only to the extent of the specific grant of veto power.  The Executive does not get to interfere with the broader Legislative power assigned to the Congress.

In recent years,  both the Legislative and Judicial branches have been responsible for encroaching on the Presidency’s constitutional authority.    Let me first say something about the Legislature .

A.

As I have said, the Framers fully expected intense pulling and hauling between the Congress and the President.  Unfortunately, just in the past few years, we have seen these conflicts take on an entirely new character.

Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they called “The Resistance,” and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver available to sabotage the functioning of his Administration.  Now, “resistance” is the language used to describe insurgency against rule imposed by an occupying military power.  It obviously connotes that the government is not legitimate.  This is a very dangerous – indeed incendiary – notion to import into the politics of a democratic republic.  What it means is that, instead of viewing themselves as the “loyal opposition,” as opposing parties have done in the past, they essentially see themselves as engaged in a war to cripple, by any means necessary, a duly elected government.  

A prime example of this is the Senate’s unprecedented abuse of the advice-and-consent process.  The Senate is free to exercise that power to reject unqualified nominees, but that power was never intended to allow the Senate to  systematically  oppose and draw out the approval process for every appointee so as to prevent the President from building a functional government.

Yet that is precisely what the Senate minority has done from his very first days in office.  As of September of this year, the Senate had been forced to invoke cloture on  236  Trump nominees — each of those representing its own massive consumption of legislative time meant only to delay an inevitable confirmation.   How many times was cloture invoked on nominees during President Obama’s first term?   17  times.  The Second President Bush’s first term?  Four times.  It is reasonable to wonder whether a future President will actually be able to form a functioning administration if his or her party does not hold the Senate. 

Congress has in recent years also largely abdicated its core function of legislating on the most pressing issues facing the national government.  They either decline to legislate on major questions or, if they do, punt the most difficult and critical issues by making broad delegations to a modern administrative state that they increasingly seek to insulate from Presidential control.  This phenomenon first arose in the wake of the Great Depression, as Congress created a number of so-called “independent agencies” and housed them, at least nominally, in the Executive Branch.  More recently, the Dodd-Frank Act’s creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Branch, a single-headed independent agency that functions like a junior varsity President for economic regulation, is just one of many examples.

Of course, Congress’s effective withdrawal from the business of legislating leaves it with a lot of time for other pursuits.  And the pursuit of choice, particularly for the opposition party, has been to drown the Executive Branch with “oversight” demands for testimony and documents.  I do not deny that Congress has some implied authority to conduct oversight as an incident to its Legislative Power.  But the sheer volume of what we see today – the pursuit of scores of parallel “investigations” through an avalanche of subpoenas – is plainly designed to incapacitate the Executive Branch, and indeed is touted as such.  

The costs of this constant harassment are real.  For example, we all understand that confidential communications and a private, internal deliberative process are essential for  all  of our branches of government to properly function.  Congress and the Judiciary know this well, as both have taken great pains to shield their own internal communications from public inspection.  There is no FOIA for Congress or the Courts.  Yet Congress has happily created a regime that allows the public to seek whatever documents it wants from the Executive Branch at the same time that individual congressional committees spend their days trying to publicize the Executive’s internal decisional process.  That process cannot function properly if it is public, nor is it productive to have our government devoting enormous resources to squabbling about what becomes public and when, rather than doing the work of the people.

In recent years, we have seen substantial encroachment by Congress in the area of executive privilege.  The Executive Branch and the Supreme Court have long recognized that the need for confidentiality in Executive Branch decision-making necessarily means that some communications must remain off limits to Congress and the public.   There was a time when Congress respected this important principle as well.  But today, Congress is increasingly quick to dismiss good-faith attempts to protect Executive Branch equities, labeling such efforts “obstruction of Congress” and holding Cabinet Secretaries in contempt.

One of the ironies of today is that those who oppose this President constantly accuse this Administration of “shredding” constitutional norms and waging a war on the rule of law.  When I ask my friends on the other side, what exactly are you referring to?  I get vacuous stares, followed by sputtering about the Travel Ban or some such thing.  While the President has certainly thrown out the traditional Beltway playbook, he was upfront about that beforehand, and the people voted for him.  What I am talking about today are fundamental constitutional precepts.  The fact is that this Administration’s policy initiatives and proposed rules, including the Travel Ban, have transgressed neither constitutional, nor traditional, norms, and have been amply supported by the law and patiently litigated through the Court system to vindication.

Indeed, measures undertaken by this Administration seem a bit tame when compared to some of the unprecedented steps taken by the Obama Administration’s aggressive exercises of Executive power – such as, under its DACA program, refusing to enforce broad swathes of immigration law.

The fact of the matter is that, in waging a scorched earth, no-holds-barred war of “Resistance” against this Administration,  it is the Left  that is engaged in the systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law.  This highlights a basic disadvantage that conservatives have always had in contesting the political issues of the day.  It was adverted to by the old, curmudgeonly Federalist, Fisher Ames, in an essay during the early years of the Republic. 

In any age, the so-called progressives treat politics as their religion.  Their holy mission is to use the coercive power of the State to remake man and society in their own image, according to an abstract ideal of perfection.  Whatever means they use are therefore justified because, by definition, they are a virtuous people pursing a deific end.  They are willing to use any means necessary to gain momentary advantage in achieving their end, regardless of collateral consequences and the systemic implications.  They never ask whether the actions they take could be justified as a general rule of conduct, equally applicable to all sides. 

Conservatives, on the other hand, do not seek an earthly paradise.  We are interested in preserving over the long run the proper balance of freedom and order necessary for healthy development of natural civil society and individual human flourishing.  This means that we naturally test the propriety and wisdom of action under a “rule of law” standard.  The essence of this standard is to ask what the overall impact on society over the long run if the action we are taking, or principle we are applying, in a given circumstance was universalized – that is, would it be good for society over the long haul if this was done in all like circumstances?

For these reasons, conservatives tend to have more scruple over their political tactics and rarely feel that the ends justify the means.  And this is as it should be, but there is no getting around the fact that this puts conservatives at a disadvantage when facing progressive holy far, especially when doing so under the weight of a hyper-partisan media.

B.

Let me turn now to what I believe has been the prime source of the erosion of separation-of-power principles generally, and Executive Branch authority specifically.  I am speaking of the Judicial Branch. 

In recent years the Judiciary has been steadily encroaching on Executive responsibilities in a way that has substantially undercut the functioning of the Presidency.  The Courts have done this in essentially two ways:  First, the Judiciary has appointed itself the ultimate arbiter of separation of powers disputes between Congress and Executive, thus preempting the political process, which the Framers conceived as the primary check on interbranch rivalry.  Second, the Judiciary has usurped Presidential authority for itself, either (a) by, under the rubric of “review,” substituting its judgment for the Executive’s in areas committed to the President’s discretion, or (b) by assuming direct control over realms of decision-making that heretofore have been considered at the core of Presidential power.  

The Framers did not envision that the Courts would play the role of arbiter of turf disputes between the political branches.  As Madison explained in Federalist 51, “the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others.”  By giving each the Congress and the Presidency the tools to fend off the encroachments of the others, the Framers believed this would force compromise and political accommodation.

The “constitutional means” to “resist encroachment” that Madison described take various forms.  As Justice Scalia observed, the Constitution gives Congress and the President many “clubs with which to beat” each other.  Conspicuously absent from the list is running to the courts to resolve their disputes.

That omission makes sense.  When the Judiciary purports to pronounce a conclusive resolution to constitutional disputes between the other two branches, it does not act as a co-equal.  And, if the political branches believe the courts will resolve their constitutional disputes, they have no incentive to debate their differences through the democratic process — with input from and accountability to the people.  And they will not even try to make the hard choices needed to forge compromise.  The long experience of our country is that the political branches can work out their constitutional differences without resort to the courts. 

In any event, the prospect that courts can meaningfully resolve interbranch disputes about the meaning of the Constitution is mostly a false promise.  How is a court supposed to decide, for example, whether Congress’s power to collect information in pursuit of its legislative function overrides the President’s power to receive confidential advice in pursuit of his executive function?  Nothing in the Constitution provides a manageable standard for resolving such a question.  It is thus no surprise that the courts have produced amorphous, unpredictable balancing tests like the Court’s holding in  Morrison  v.  Olson  that Congress did not “disrupt the proper balance between the coordinate branches by preventing the Executive Branch from accomplishing its constitutionally assigned functions.”

Apart from their overzealous role in interbranch disputes, the courts have increasingly engaged directly in usurping Presidential decision-making authority for themselves.  One way courts have effectively done this is by expanding both the scope and the intensity of judicial review.

In recent years, we have lost sight of the fact that many critical decisions in life are not amenable to the model of judicial decision-making.  They cannot be reduced to tidy evidentiary standards and specific quantums of proof in an adversarial process.  They require what we used to call  prudential judgment .  They are decisions that frequently have to be made promptly, on incomplete and uncertain information and necessarily involve weighing a wide range of competing risks and making predictions about the future.  Such decisions frequently call into play the “precautionary principle.”  This is the principle that when a decision maker is accountable for discharging a certain obligation – such as protecting the public’s safety – it is better, when assessing imperfect information, to be wrong and safe, than wrong and sorry.

It was once well recognized that such matters were largely unreviewable and that the courts should not be substituting their judgments for the prudential judgments reached by the accountable Executive officials.  This outlook now seems to have gone by the boards.  Courts are now willing, under the banner of judicial review, to substitute their judgment for the President’s on matters that only a few decades ago would have been unimaginable – such as matters involving national security or foreign affairs.

The Travel Ban case is a good example.  There the President made a decision under an explicit legislative grant of authority, as well has his Constitutional national security role, to temporarily suspend entry to aliens coming from a half dozen countries pending adoption of more effective vetting processes.  The common denominator of the initial countries selected was that they were unquestionable hubs of terrorism activity, which lacked functional central government’s and responsible law enforcement and intelligence services that could assist us in identifying security risks among their nationals seeking entry.  Despite the fact there were clearly justifiable security grounds for the measure, the district court in Hawaii and the Ninth Circuit blocked this public-safety measure for a year and half on the theory that the President’s motive for the order was religious bias against Muslims.  This was just the first of many immigration measures based on good and sufficient security grounds that the courts have second guessed since the beginning of the Trump Administration.

The Travel Ban case highlights an especially troubling aspect of the recent tendency to expand judicial review.  The Supreme Court has traditionally refused, across a wide variety of contexts, to inquire into the subjective motivation behind governmental action.  To take the classic example, if a police officer has probable cause to initiate a traffic stop, his subjective motivations are irrelevant.  And just last term, the Supreme Court appropriately shut the door to claims that otherwise-lawful redistricting can violate the Constitution if the legislators who drew the lines were actually motivated by political partisanship. 

What is true of police officers and gerrymanderers is equally true of the President and senior Executive officials.  With very few exceptions, neither the Constitution, nor the Administrative Procedure Act or any other relevant statute, calls for judicial review of executive  motive .  They apply only to executive  action .  Attempts by courts to act like amateur psychiatrists attempting to discern an Executive official’s “real motive” — often after ordering invasive discovery into the Executive Branch’s privileged decision-making process — have no more foundation in the law than a subpoena to a court to try to determine a judge’s real motive for issuing its decision.  And courts’ indulgence of such claims, even if they are ultimately rejected, represents a serious intrusion on the President’s constitutional prerogatives.

The impact of these judicial intrusions on Executive responsibility have been hugely magnified by another judicial innovation – the nationwide injunction.  First used in 1963, and sparely since then until recently, these court orders enjoin enforcement of a policy not just against the parties to a case, but against everyone.  Since President Trump took office, district courts have issued over 40 nationwide injunctions against the government.  By comparison, during President Obama’s first two years, district courts issued a total of  two  nationwide injunctions against the government.  Both were vacated by the Ninth Circuit. 

It is no exaggeration to say that virtually every major policy of the Trump Administration has been subjected to immediate freezing by the lower courts.  No other President has been subjected to such sustained efforts to debilitate his policy agenda. 

The legal flaws underlying nationwide injunctions are myriad.  Just to summarize briefly, nationwide injunctions have no foundation in courts’ Article III jurisdiction or traditional equitable powers; they radically inflate the role of district judges, allowing any one of more than 600 individuals to singlehandedly freeze a policy nationwide, a power that no single appellate judge or Justice can accomplish; they foreclose percolation and reasoned debate among lower courts, often requiring the Supreme Court to decide complex legal issues in an emergency posture with limited briefing; they enable transparent forum shopping, which saps public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary; and they displace the settled mechanisms for aggregate litigation of genuinely nationwide claims, such as Rule 23 class actions.

Of particular relevance to my topic tonight, nationwide injunctions also disrupt the political process.  There is no better example than the courts’ handling of the rescission of DACA.  As you recall, DACA was a discretionary policy of enforcement forbearance adopted by President Obama’s administration.  The Fifth Circuit concluded that the closely related DAPA policy (along with an expansion of DACA) was unlawful, and the Supreme Court affirmed that decision by an equally divided vote.  Given that DACA was  discretionary  — and that four Justices apparently thought a legally indistinguishable policy was  unlawful  —President Trump’s administration understandably decided to rescind DACA. 

Importantly, however, the President coupled that rescission with negotiations over legislation that would create a lawful and better alternative as part of a broader immigration compromise.  In the middle of those negotiations — indeed, on the same day the President invited cameras into the Cabinet Room to broadcast his negotiations with bipartisan leaders from both Houses of Congress — a district judge in the Northern District of California enjoined the rescission of DACA nationwide.  Unsurprisingly, the negotiations over immigration legislation collapsed after one side achieved its preferred outcome through judicial means.  A humanitarian crisis at the southern border ensued.  And just this week, the Supreme Court finally heard argument on the legality of the DACA rescission.  The Court will not likely decide the case until next summer, meaning that President Trump will have spent  almost his entire first term  enforcing President Obama’s signature immigration policy, even though that policy is  discretionary  and half the Supreme Court concluded that a legally indistinguishable policy was  unlawful .  That is not how our democratic system is supposed to work. 

To my mind, the most blatant and consequential usurpation of Executive power in our history was played out during the Administration of President George W. Bush, when the Supreme Court, in a series of cases, set itself up as the ultimate arbiter and superintendent of military decisions inherent in prosecuting a military conflict – decisions that lie at the very core of the President’s discretion as Commander in Chief.

This usurpation climaxed with the Court’s 2008 decision in  Boumediene.   There, the Supreme Court overturned hundreds of years of American, and earlier British, law and practice, which had always considered decisions as to whether to detain foreign combatants to be purely military judgments which civilian judges had no power to review.  For the first time, the Court ruled that foreign persons who had no connection with the United States other than being confronted by our military on the battlefield had “due process” rights and thus have the right to habeas corpus to obtain judicial review of whether the military has a sufficient evidentiary basis to hold them.

In essence, the Court has taken the rules that govern our domestic criminal justice process and carried them over and superimposed them on the Nation’s activities when it is engaged in armed conflict with foreign enemies.  This rides roughshod over a fundamental distinction that is integral to the Constitution and integral to the role played by the President in our system.

As the Preamble suggests, governments are established for two different security reasons – to secure domestic tranquility and to provide for defense against external dangers.  These are two very different realms of government action.

In a nutshell, under the Constitution, when the government is using its law enforcement powers domestically to discipline an errant member of the community for a violation of law, then protecting the liberty of the American people requires that we sharply curtail the government’s power so it does not itself threaten the liberties of the people.  Thus, the Constitution in this arena deliberately sacrifices efficiency; invests the accused with rights that that essentially create a level playing field between the collective interests of community and those of the individual; and dilutes the government’s power by dividing it and turning it on itself as a check, at each stage the Judiciary is expressly empowered to serve as a check and neutral arbiter.

None of these considerations are applicable when the government is defending the country against armed attacks from foreign enemies.  In this realm, the Constitution is concerned with one thing – preserving the freedom of our political community by destroying the external threat.  Here, the Constitution is not concerned with handicapping the government to preserve other values.  The Constitution does not confer “rights” on foreign enemies. Rather the Constitution is designed to maximize the government’s efficiency to achieve victory – even at the cost of “collateral damage” that would be unacceptable in the domestic realm. The idea that the judiciary acts as a neutral check on the political branches to protect foreign enemies from our government is insane.

The impact of  Boumediene  has been extremely consequential.  For the first time in American history our armed forces is incapable of taking prisoners.  We are now in a crazy position that, if we identify a terrorist enemy on the battlefield, such as ISIS, we can kill them with drone or any other weapon.  But if we capture them and want to hold them at Guantanamo or in the United States, the military is tied down in developing evidence for an adversarial process and must spend resources in interminable litigation.

The fact that our courts are now willing to invade and muck about in these core areas of Presidential responsibility illustrates how far the doctrine of Separation of Powers has been eroded.

III.

In this partisan age, we should take special care not to allow the passions of the moment to cause us to permanently disfigure the genius of our Constitutional structure. As we look back over the sweep of American history, it has been the American Presidency that has best fulfilled the vision of the Founders.  It has brought to our Republic a dynamism and effectiveness that other democracies have lacked.

At every critical juncture where the country has faced a great challenge –

          – whether it be in our earliest years as the weak, nascent country combating regional rebellions, and maneuvering for survival in a world of far stronger nations;

          – whether it be during our period of continental expansion, with the Louisiana Purchase, and the acquisition of Mexican territory;

          – whether it be the Civil War, the epic test of the Nation;

          – World War II and the struggle against Fascism;

          – the Cold War and the challenge of Communism;

          – the struggle against racial discrimination;

          – and most recently, the fight against Islamist Fascism and international terrorism.

One would have to say that it has been the Presidency that has stepped to the fore and provided the leadership, consistency, energy and perseverance that allowed us to surmount the challenge and brought us success.

In so many areas, it is critical to our Nation’s future that we restore and preserve in their full vigor our Founding principles.  Not the least of these is the Framers’ vision of a strong, independent Executive, chosen by the country as a whole.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Heartland American @3    4 weeks ago
As we look back over the sweep of American history, it has been the American Presidency that has best fulfilled the vision of the Founders.  It has brought to our Republic a dynamism and effectiveness that other democracies have lacked.

At every critical juncture where the country has faced a great challenge –

          – whether it be in our earliest years as the weak, nascent country combating regional rebellions, and maneuvering for survival in a world of far stronger nations;

          – whether it be during our period of continental expansion, with the Louisiana Purchase, and the acquisition of Mexican territory;

          – whether it be the Civil War, the epic test of the Nation;

          – World War II and the struggle against Fascism;

          – the Cold War and the challenge of Communism;

          – the struggle against racial discrimination;

          – and most recently, the fight against Islamist Fascism and international terrorism.

One would have to say that it has been the Presidency that has stepped to the fore and provided the leadership, consistency, energy and perseverance that allowed us to surmount the challenge and brought us success.

In so many areas, it is critical to our Nation’s future that we restore and preserve in their full vigor our Founding principles.  Not the least of these is the Framers’ vision of a strong, independent Executive, chosen by the country as a whole.

In the context of Donald Trump as president, this entire thing is ridiculous. Barr argues that we should entrust the president to be the architect and enforcer of American decisions. But when there is such a manifestly unfit individual as Trump in that position, what then will be the recourse if checks and balances are eased back? 

I also have the feeling that when a Democrat gets into the office of the presidency, and ready to use all this unitary power Barr now advocates for the president, Barr will change his tune and find urgent reasons to rein the "leftist" president in. 

 
 
 
WallyW
3.1.1  WallyW  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1    4 weeks ago
One would have to say that it has been the Presidency that has stepped to the fore and provided the leadership, consistency, energy and perseverance that allowed us to surmount the challenge and brought us success.

That's what Trump is trying to do. Democrats can't win at the ballot box, so they resort to dirty tricks and corruption to get their way

 
 
 
bbl-1
3.1.2  bbl-1  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1    3 weeks ago

All of that--and I do mean all of that, reminds me of King George The Third.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4  seeder  JohnRussell    4 weeks ago

Trump's regime is all the evidence we need as to why there should be no imperial presidency.  If an unstable, psychologically and ethically defective pos like Trump can gain "power" the checks and balances have to be available in full force. 

Barr is showing himself unfit for his position as well. He should be explaining the law, not launching ideological attacks on those he disagrees with.  The attorney general position should be no more the refuge of an ideological zealot like Barr than the presidency should be for a buffoon like Trump. 

 
 
 
XDm9mm
4.1  XDm9mm  replied to  JohnRussell @4    4 weeks ago
Trump's regime is all the evidence we need as to why there should be no imperial presidency.  If an unstable, psychologically and ethically defective pos like Trump can gain "power" the checks and balances have to be available in full force.

JR....   you're even outdoing yourself with the daily vitriolic diatribes you use.   

I'm dancing with joy knowing full well that President Donald J. Trump is living rent free in your head 24x7 and is inviting in every other right leaning America loving person in the country to join the party.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
4.2  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  JohnRussell @4    4 weeks ago

Barr needs to stick to the all you can eat buffets an Golden Corral.

 
 
 
bugsy
4.2.1  bugsy  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @4.2    4 weeks ago
Barr needs to stick to the all you can eat buffets an Golden Corral.

I thought fat shaming someone was a big no no in lib land. I guess it's OK when it happens to a conservative.

 
 
 
Tacos!
5  Tacos!    4 weeks ago

After reading the article, I am struck by the fact that all of the criticism - literally all of it - is in the form name calling, labeling, character attacks, and so on. There is no reasoned rebuttal to the actual content of his speech. No facts or conclusions are analyzed. There is a block quote of part of his speech, but no commentary on what specifically might be flawed in it.

Look at these pointless, emotional criticisms:

Another lunatic authoritarian speech

How so? We aren't told.

“Impeach Barr now!”

What for? For having an opinion? We aren't told.

Bill Barr is the type of bare knuckles lawyer the Church would have hired thirty years ago to cover up sex abuse cases

Is it really fair to accuse him of being the kind of person who would "cover up" a sex abuse case? Does that somehow connect to the content of this speech? I don't see it.

one of the most vicious partisan screeds ever uttered by a US cabinet officer

In what way is it vicious? Even if it is, so what? Is he not allowed to have strong opinions? Is there something wrong about what he said? Let's hear it if there is.

Barr says trump should have king-like powers

When did he say that?

Barr is a liar and a fanatic and should be impeached and stripped of his law licenses

Why specifically? We aren't told. Nothing to do with the speech is mentioned.

Instead of the ‘theory of the unitary executive’ let’s just start calling it what it is – the theory of the fascist executive

Name calling or labeling, but no analysis

Its hackery and intellectual dishonesty is an utter embarrassment to the DOJ

How specifically is it hackery? In what way is intellectually dishonest? We aren't told

This is so outrageously inappropriate for an AG to be saying,” noted former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah . “You are the head of the DOJ for all Americans not just the ones in the Federalist Society

So an AG can't ever express an opinion about the state of politics because some Americans might disagree with him? How does this impact his responsibilities as head of DOJ? I'm forced to guess. The exact reason it's so wrong for the AG to be saying what he said is not made clear.

denounce AG Barr’s diatribe as an attack on our Constitution and on the rule of law

Again, we aren't told why. Of course, I'm sure someone will come along to tell me that if it has to be explained to me, they can't help me.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
5.1  XDm9mm  replied to  Tacos! @5    4 weeks ago
Again, we aren't told why.

The "why" is because when actually using logic, reason, the rule of law and the US Constitution as guidelines, and NOT eliciting and using emotional outcries the entire basis of their 'resistance' falls apart and implodes on itself having been proved to be nothing more than pandering to some and hurling vitriolic diatribes at others.

Of course, I'm sure someone will come along to tell me that if it has to be explained to me, they can't help me.

Naturally.  Those of us who believe in the rule of law, self reliance, a true nation with borders and a diverse people as opposed to a meandering idea of what this country is and represents for some reason simply can't grasp the emotional injustice some seem to hang their belief system on and must be indoctrinated to that train of thought.  One must surmise that their one true belief and wish is that any that do not think and act in lock step with their belief structure simply surrender and capitulate to their belief or failing that, simply disappear and not disrupt their nirvana.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
6  Thrawn 31    4 weeks ago

What amuses me most about Barr and Trump's supporters is that they don't seem to understand that all the power they want the presidency to have, a democrat will have in under 10 years. 

 
 
 
bugsy
6.1  bugsy  replied to  Thrawn 31 @6    4 weeks ago
a democrat will have in under 10 years. 

So you have admitted that Trump still has 5 years and Pence will at least have one 4 year run?'

Well, that's one coming around. I wonder how the seeder of this article will attack you for it?

 
 
 
WallyW
6.2  WallyW  replied to  Thrawn 31 @6    4 weeks ago

It's going too be a much longer time than 10 years before a Dem occupies the Oval Office

 
 
 
bugsy
6.2.1  bugsy  replied to  WallyW @6.2    4 weeks ago
It's going too be a much longer time than 10 years before a Dem occupies the Oval Office

You're right. The way I see it is Trump/Pence through 2024, then Pence/Haley through 2032, then Haley/whoever she picks, through 2040.

It will be a very angry couple of decades for the far left, if the ideology even exists until then.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
6.2.2  XDm9mm  replied to  bugsy @6.2.1    4 weeks ago
The way I see it is Trump/Pence through 2024

I'm not overly positive Pence actually wants the job.  I can't see him letting himself and more importantly to him I believe, his family going through the continual haranguing and demonizing of the left for what would very likely be an eight year tenure if he did run.

Although on the flip side, he might not be attacked as much as he doesn't 'tweet' 24x7 and might be permitted some leeway in that regard.

 
 
 
bugsy
6.2.3  bugsy  replied to  XDm9mm @6.2.2    4 weeks ago
Although on the flip side, he might not be attacked as much as he doesn't 'tweet' 24x7 and might be permitted some leeway in that regard.

That's true, however, the rabid loons on the left will continually attack him for his religion, accusing him of policy making based on faith, no matter the policy. If he bows out next year, then it is almost certain Haley will step in and extend her time in the White House to 12 years.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
6.2.4  XDm9mm  replied to  bugsy @6.2.3    4 weeks ago
If he bows out next year, then it is almost certain Haley will step in and extend her time in the White House to 12 years.

Actually, that's my thought also.  Unlike some previous presidents who had strong religious beliefs, I'm not sure if Pence would be able to segregate his as they did.

 
 
 
bugsy
7  bugsy    4 weeks ago

I'm curious what the seeder of this article thinks of Shifty Schiff, in a speech on Saturday, called the President a "charlatan", and says HE is a member of the resistance for 3 years now.

John, do you think Shifty Schiff, at the least, be censured, for making hyper partisan remarks, showing obvious favoritism for the rabid left and democrats than for the country as a whole?

You probably don't.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
8  The Magic Eight Ball    3 weeks ago
Unfortunately through the past few years we have seen these conflicts take on an entirely new character. Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they called ‘The Resistance’ and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver to sabotage the functioning of the executive branch and his administration. The fact of the matter is: that in waging a scorched earth, no holds-barred war of resistance against this administration, it is the left that is engaged in the systemic shredding of norms and undermining the rule of law.

every word true enough. I've been saying the same thing since jan 2017

and now, there is a 500 page IG report coming that will turn the lefts world upside down.

does it take a 500 page IG report to say everything was done legally?  nope.

hint: all 4 FISA applications used against the trump campaign were fraudulent.

better buckle up, stock up on popcorn,

things will get very entertaining after that IG report is released :)

 
 
 
katrix
8.1  katrix  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @8    3 weeks ago
and now, there is a 500 page IG report coming that will turn the lefts world upside down.

You crack me up. The right wingers in NT, to hear them talk, all have secret insider knowledge of all of this stuff (none of which ever seems to turn out to be true) - yet they are ignorant of every single fact concerning the things that Trump and his toadies have done wrong.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
8.1.1  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  katrix @8.1    3 weeks ago
The right wingers in NT, to hear them talk, all have secret insider knowledge of all of this stuff

it's being reported... LOL

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ratcliffe-on-ig-report-doesnt-take-500-pages-to-say-everything-was-done-right

You crack me up.

as long as  your having fun.

cheers :)

 
 
 
katrix
8.1.2  katrix  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @8.1.1    3 weeks ago
it's being reported... LOL

That explains the ignorance to actual facts concerning Trump. Fox generally doesn't report on that stuff because it angers their state sponsor. It's amazing how ignorant a person is, when they only read Fox and Breitbart ... kept in the dark like mushrooms.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
8.1.3  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  katrix @8.1.2    3 weeks ago
That explains the ignorance to actual facts concerning Trump

I read everything from both the left / right. luckily for me my BS detector is very accurate.

let me give ya a hint:

bs investigations are easy to spot. the real investigations do not make hardly a sound until they are done. 

the investigation into the obamas admins BS with the fisa courts started like yrs ago. 

it's not our problem if the left ignored that.

more fun?  that IG report is just the opening scene.

but hey... ya still have a couple weeks to stick your head in the sand.

512

 
 
 
Dulay
8.2  Dulay  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @8    3 weeks ago
all 4 FISA applications used against the trump campaign were fraudulent.

If that is true, will you call for John Roberts to resign? You know that Chief Justice Roberts chooses and supervises the Judges on the FISA court right? You're saying that 3 different FISA Judges were hoodwinked.

Since this BS allegation has been pushed for years now, I've been wondering where the hell is the investigation into the FISA Judges? They're obviously either idiots or incompetent or partisan or all of the above right? 

Oh and BTFW, HOW could the FISA applications be used against the Trump campaign when Page wasn't working for the Trump campaign while the warrants were in effect? 

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
8.2.1  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  Dulay @8.2    3 weeks ago
You're saying that 3 different FISA Judges were hoodwinked.

yepp.

will you call for John Roberts to resign

nope, it's not the judges fault they were deceived.

"obamas admin" is in deep shit.

 
 
 
Dulay
8.2.2  Dulay  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @8.2.1    3 weeks ago
nope, it's not the judges fault they were deceived.

Actually, it is.

My bad, it was 4 different Judges. 

One would think that 4 hand picked FISA Judges being 'deceived' would trigger an investigation into those Judge's gullibility. All but one of those Judges are still FISA Judges. 

I guess that either Chief Justice Roberts doesn't think that his hand picked Judges were deceived or he's just as incompetent as you think they are. 

 
 
 
evilgenius
8.2.3  evilgenius  replied to  Dulay @8.2.2    3 weeks ago
I guess that either Chief Justice Roberts doesn't think that his hand picked Judges were deceived or he's just as incompetent as you think they are. 

The GoP lead Senate also did their own "investigation" several months ago and found nothing. Nothing came of the State Department email investigation and nothing will come of this. Trump Suckers are pissing in the wind again.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
8.2.4  XDm9mm  replied to  Dulay @8.2.2    3 weeks ago
Actually, it is.

Actually it is not.

The applications that come before them are 'sworn' documents that purportedly have been vetted and are factual.  They essentially only have that information to go on.  And Judges tend to believe the veracity of Federal Law enforcement agents.

 
 
 
Dulay
8.2.5  Dulay  replied to  XDm9mm @8.2.4    3 weeks ago
Actually it is not. The applications that come before them are 'sworn' documents that purportedly have been vetted and are factual.  They essentially only have that information to go on.  And Judges tend to believe the veracity of Federal Law enforcement agents.

Actually, it is. 

The applications, especially the initial application, are presented in COURT and the Judge can and DOES ask, the representative of the AG's office presenting the application, questions and requests clarifying documents if and when necessary. 

EACH of the 4 Judges read the applications, which you admit are documents that are sworn to as being vetted and factual. Those who sign those applications are 'officers of the court' and put their asses on the line for the veracity of the information in the application. 

 
 
 
bbl-1
9  bbl-1    3 weeks ago

Did not know Barr was a christian dominionist.  Or openly supported autocracies.

Then on second thought I suspected as much.

 
 
 
MrFrost
10  MrFrost    3 weeks ago

Barr needs to be reminded that he is not a personal attorney for the POTUS. 

 
 
 
KDMichigan
10.1  KDMichigan  replied to  MrFrost @10    3 weeks ago
Barr needs to be reminded that he is not a personal attorney for the POTUS. 

I know, right. Didn't he call himself the Presidents wingman?

Oh wait, never mind. Wrong guy.

256

 
 
 
MrFrost
10.1.1  MrFrost  replied to  KDMichigan @10.1    3 weeks ago
I know, right. Didn't he call himself the Presidents wingman?

Not that I am aware of. 

 
 
 
KDMichigan
10.1.2  KDMichigan  replied to  MrFrost @10.1.1    3 weeks ago

256

 
 
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