Archive for the ‘Executive Watch’ Category

Weekend Web Watch (2/15-2/22)

February 22, 2009

What others are saying about executive power

The New York Times reports on the Obama Administration’s position that detainees at the Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan cannot challenge their detentions. Salon’s Joan Walsh captures the disappointment on the Left. 

Both the New Republic and the Washington Post have reported that Yale Law professor Harold Koh will be Hillary Clinton’s go-to counsel at the State Department. Koh is an outspoken international human rights advocate who, in 2002, declared that a unilateral preemptive war with Iraq would violate international law.

Charlie Savage recaps the ways the Obama Administration has hedged on its pledges to scale back expansive executive power. Eli Lake makes a similar point in the New Republic.

The National Review applauds the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ reversal of an order to release 17 Uighur detainees in the United States, but expresses concern that the Supreme Court may see things differently.

Salon’s Jon Conason wants a presidential commission to investigate authorizations of torture during the Bush Administration, but also argues that there should be no criminal investigations and that cooperative officials should be guaranteed a complete pardon.  Conason’s Salon colleague, Glenn Greenwald, responds that such preemptive pardons would constitute an “unambiguous and blatant violation of our obligations under the Convention [Against Torture]” and demands greater accountability.

The Weekly Standard is troubled by Thomas Joscelyn’s ties to Al-Qaeda.  Joscelyn is expected to be the first Guantanamo detainee released or transferred by the Obama Administration.

Noah Feldman offers up a defense of executive secrecy in the New York Times magazine. The New Republic calls it too clever by half.

Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican member on the House Oversight Committee, has called on the White House to establish a framework for archiving White House e-mails.  Think Progress calls the move hypocritical in light of positions Issa took during the Bush Administration.

Politico highlights important gaps in White House record-keeping, casting doubt on Obama’s commitment to transparency.

The National Review quotes Montesquieu: “When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty.”  The post addresses Congress’s eagerness in granting Obama sweeping spending discretion in the proposed housing bill.  Matthew Yglesias spots the irony of the publication not raising similar concerns about foreign policy.

Welcome to Executive Watch

January 20, 2009

Executive Watch is a blog from the Duke University School of Law’s Program in Public Law.  It is dedicated to monitoring, analyzing and providing a forum for discussion of questions of presidential power. Executive Watch will go live Monday, February 9, 2009.