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Wiretaps and Warrants

 
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 08:02 am
Brandon, you can start reading here to see how the arguments unfold. In the end it comes down to a disagreement over whether FISA is constitutional. Those of us who say he broke the law say it is. Those who disagree say it isn't. Where there is no disagreement is whether the actions of the administration that have been admitted to violate FISA. We all agree that they do. The president says that his inherent war making powers trump FISA. I, and others, disagree.
0 Replies
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 08:21 am
Brandon9000 wrote:
This is kind of disappointing. This thread was a golden opportunity for the A2K liberals to get very specific and quote chapter and verse as to what violations of law the president committed, and to demonstrate clearly that he lied, by comparing what he said to what he did. Kind of odd that there is a deafening silence.

I guess they'd prefer to simply reprint newspaper and magazine articles, and refer to alleged proofs that they never quite agree to locate.
You guys have lost your credibility. The right wing (not all) has been insincere and disingenuous to say the least.

Like Bush we can no longer consider anything you say because it all has to be considered bad information and that is bad for the country.

Lying yields a bad return in the long run.
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 09:05 am
FreeDuck wrote:
Brandon, you can start reading here to see how the arguments unfold. In the end it comes down to a disagreement over whether FISA is constitutional. Those of us who say he broke the law say it is. Those who disagree say it isn't. Where there is no disagreement is whether the actions of the administration that have been admitted to violate FISA. We all agree that they do. The president says that his inherent war making powers trump FISA. I, and others, disagree.


This is most sucinct re-cap of the situation I have read. The matters rests on how one sees the separation of powers in the US government. The Administration sees their powers as vastly grander than the other two branches which they see as supporting, rather than equal, partners. As witnessed by the recent raid on a Congressional office, they see no one above the law except themselves. The President exempts himself from the restrictions of a law if he deems that his power will be restricted by it.
What we have is a no veto President. Why veto a law if you are going to ignore it anyway? In the present topic, and this I'm sure was covered in the other thread, the president and his advisors considered FISA to be too restrictive, so they dreamed up some extraordinary war powers and just went around it. You have a perfectly fine Secret Court ready to rubberstamp anything he wants, but what he wants is to do it on his own.

He seems to be saying to Congress and the Courts "You're not the boss of me."

Joe(I'm going to tell his father)Nation
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 09:16 am
Amigo wrote:
Brandon9000 wrote:
This is kind of disappointing. This thread was a golden opportunity for the A2K liberals to get very specific and quote chapter and verse as to what violations of law the president committed, and to demonstrate clearly that he lied, by comparing what he said to what he did. Kind of odd that there is a deafening silence.

I guess they'd prefer to simply reprint newspaper and magazine articles, and refer to alleged proofs that they never quite agree to locate.
You guys have lost your credibility. The right wing (not all) has been insincere and disingenuous to say the least.

Like Bush we can no longer consider anything you say because it all has to be considered bad information and that is bad for the country.

Lying yields a bad return in the long run.

You have a million reasons for not wanting to substantiate anything you say and this is just one of them. Go ahead, define yourself to be right.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 09:17 am
FreeDuck wrote:
Brandon, you can start reading here to see how the arguments unfold. In the end it comes down to a disagreement over whether FISA is constitutional. Those of us who say he broke the law say it is. Those who disagree say it isn't. Where there is no disagreement is whether the actions of the administration that have been admitted to violate FISA. We all agree that they do. The president says that his inherent war making powers trump FISA. I, and others, disagree.

Yes, this is a very succinct summary. Thanks, and thanks for the link.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 09:49 am
Glad to be of help.
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Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 11:06 am
The major point of this argument ignored by Bush supporters is the fact that FISA is law, signed into law by the Executive Branch. The president doesn't have the authority to declare laws unConstitutional; the Judicial branch does that.

Therefore, the president cannot legally break a law, just because he feels it is unConstitutional, and avoid the consequences of his actions. Which is what the Bush camp is trying to do.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 11:16 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:
The major point of this argument ignored by Bush supporters is the fact that FISA is law, signed into law by the Executive Branch. The president doesn't have the authority to declare laws unConstitutional; the Judicial branch does that.

Therefore, the president cannot legally break a law, just because he feels it is unConstitutional, and avoid the consequences of his actions. Which is what the Bush camp is trying to do.

Cycloptichorn

Although I am not expressing any opinion now on the wiretap issue, this specific argument of yours may be incorrect. Just as the legislature cannot order the president to appoint a certain person vice president, and the president cannot order a court to make a certain decision, the legislature cannot order the president to forfeit powers granted to him by the Constitution. The three branches of government are equal and independent of each other. Since I am not a lawyer, I cannot be very specific about this, but I know that there are cases in which one branch of government simply cannot give binding orders to another branch.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 11:32 am
In response to Brandon's most recent nonsense about the powers of the branches of government:

The second section of Article Three of the Constitution reads, in its entirety:

Section 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party;--to controversies between two or more states;--between a state and citizens of another state;--between citizens of different states;--between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects. (emphasis added)

If you think that in perusing Article Two, which treats of the powers of the executive, that you can cobble together an argument that the President is anywhere authorized to pass on the constitutionality of laws, help yourself--and good luck.

Furthermore, you claim that: "Just as the legislature cannot order the president to appoint a certain person vice president." That is completely correct--the President never has the power to appoint a Vice President, but only to make an appointment, which person takes office subject to the approval of the Congress. The second section of the XXVth Amendement, which amended the portion of Article II, dealing with Presidential succession, reads, in full:

Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

As the President is not granted the power to pass on the constitutionality of laws, your remark to the effect that: ". . . the legislature cannot order the president to forfeit powers granted to him by the Constitution."--is a non sequitur, it is meaningless.

Furthermore, you are apparently possessed of invicible ignorance of the powers which the constitution does grant to the Congress in the matter of executive departments and officers.

The final paragraph of Article One, Section Eight, reads in full:

[Congress shall have the power . . . ] To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Given the abyssmal ignorance of the Constitution which you habitually display in such threads, i'm surprised you even attempt such a feeble effort.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 11:42 am
Setanta wrote:
In response to Brandon's most recent nonsense about the powers of the branches of government:

The second section of Article Three of the Constitution reads, in its entirety:

Section 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party;--to controversies between two or more states;--between a state and citizens of another state;--between citizens of different states;--between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects. (emphasis added)

If you think that in perusing Article Two, which treats of the powers of the executive, that you can cobble together an argument that the President is anywhere authorized to pass on the constitutionality of laws, help yourself--and good luck.

Furthermore, you claim that: "Just as the legislature cannot order the president to appoint a certain person vice president." That is completely correct--the President never has the power to appoint a Vice President, but only to make an appointment, which person takes office subject to the approval of the Congress. The second section of the XXVth Amendement, which amended the portion of Article II, dealing with Presidential succession, reads, in full:

Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

As the President is not granted the power to pass on the constitutionality of laws, your remark to the effect that: ". . . the legislature cannot order the president to forfeit powers granted to him by the Constitution."--is a non sequitur, it is meaningless.

Furthermore, you are apparently possessed of invicible ignorance of the powers which the constitution does grant to the Congress in the matter of executive departments and officers.

The final paragraph of Article One, Section Eight, reads in full:

[Congress shall have the power . . . ] To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Given the abyssmal ignorance of the Constitution which you habitually display in such threads, i'm surprised you even attempt such a feeble effort.

It's a pity you can't leave all the insults, etc. out of your dicussion. So, then, according to you, if the president were in the middle of negotiating an unpopular treaty with another country, and the Congress passed a law reserving the power to make treaties solely to itself, the president would be obligated to obey this law and discontinue treaty negotiations, at least until a court ruled the law unconstititional, right?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 11:48 am
Brandon9000 wrote:
It's a pity you can't leave all the insults, etc. out of your dicussion. So, then, according to you, if the president were in the middle of negotiating an unpopular treaty with another country, and the Congress passed a law reserving the power to make treaties solely to itself, the president would be obligated to obey this law and discontinue treaty negotiations, at least until a court ruled the law unconstititional, right?


You may feel that it is insulting to have your ignorance of the Constitution pointed out to you, but that is merely pouting. This is another prime example of the reason why i make such a statement. Congress would not need to make such a law, given the provision of the first clause of the second paragraph of Section Two, Article Two, which reads:

He [i.e., the President] shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur . . .

Your remark about "an unpopular treaty" is laughable, as no treaty can take effect until two thirds of the Senate has concurred in the ratification of said treaty, which is unlikely in the case of a widely unpopular measure. I am not surprised, though, on reading such an offering from you, to see that your ignorance of the Constitutional grants of power and limits on the powers of the three branches leads you to ascribe to the executive an authority which it does not possess.

Let me point out something to you. Every quote i've made from the Constitution is a direct copy and paste of the text of the Constitution provided online. Now, look at the time signatures of these posts. It ought to be evident to you that i can find and quickly post the relevant portions of the Constitution because i am already intimately familiar with its provisions. Patently, you are not.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 11:59 am
Another error in your argument Brandon.

The President signs the law or vetos it. Why would a President sign a law he thinks is unconstitutional? If the President vetoed a law that said he couldn't make treaties then 2/3 of Congress would have to vote to override that veto. Unlikely, since many of those in Congress do carry around a copy of the constitution.

The President couldn't ignore the law if it did pass over his veto. He could challenge the law in court however and request an injunction keeping the law from going into effect until the courts have ruled.

I find it interesting that Bush has never thought to actually challenge the laws in court but instead has just pretended they don't exist.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 12:14 pm
Setanta wrote:
Brandon9000 wrote:
It's a pity you can't leave all the insults, etc. out of your dicussion. So, then, according to you, if the president were in the middle of negotiating an unpopular treaty with another country, and the Congress passed a law reserving the power to make treaties solely to itself, the president would be obligated to obey this law and discontinue treaty negotiations, at least until a court ruled the law unconstititional, right?


You may feel that it is insulting to have your ignorance of the Constitution pointed out to you, but that is merely pouting. This is another prime example of the reason why i make such a statement. Congress would not need to make such a law, given the provision of the first clause of the second paragraph of Section Two, Article Two, which reads:

He [i.e., the President] shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur . . .

Your remark about "an unpopular treaty" is laughable, as no treaty can take effect until two thirds of the Senate has concurred in the ratification of said treaty, which is unlikely in the case of a widely unpopular measure. I am not surprised, though, on reading such an offering from you, to see that your ignorance of the Constitutional grants of power and limits on the powers of the three branches leads you to ascribe to the executive an authority which it does not possess.

Let me point out something to you. Every quote i've made from the Constitution is a direct copy and paste of the text of the Constitution provided online. Now, look at the time signatures of these posts. It ought to be evident to you that i can find and quickly post the relevant portions of the Constitution because i am already intimately familiar with its provisions. Patently, you are not.

You have declined to answer a question which contradicts your thesis, despite your rationalization.

No one implied that the treaty in question would become legal without ratification. It doesn't matter whether or not someone thinks the Congress would be motivated to make such a law. It's merely a hypothetical test of your thesis.

So, I repeat, it would seem to follow from your first answer to my post that you believe that if Congress passed a law reserving the sole treaty making power to themselves, a clear violation of the separation of powers, the president would be obligated to halt treaty negotiations in progress until the matter was resolved in court. Is this correct? Go ahead and give me fifteen more reasons why you don't have to respond to my hypothetical. If you won't debate with people who disagree with you, you can get away with any claim.
0 Replies
 
xingu
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 12:14 pm
It looks like Bush's style is to scream "NATIONAL SECURITY". With that done he believes he can ignore any law he wants.

And Brandon thinks that's constitutional? Where in the Constitution does it give the president authority to unilaterally declare any law constitutional or unconstitutional. If this were the case why bother with the Supreme Court?
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 12:22 pm
xingu wrote:
It looks like Bush's style is to scream "NATIONAL SECURITY". With that done he believes he can ignore any law he wants.

And Brandon thinks that's constitutional? Where in the Constitution does it give the president authority to unilaterally declare any law constitutional or unconstitutional. If this were the case why bother with the Supreme Court?

He does not have this power, and this is not my argument.

My argument is that the three branches of government are equal, and there are situations involving the separation of powers in which one branch simply may not make an order binding on another branch.

Note please, that this should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the president's argument in the wiretap matter. I don't have a firm opinion about that yet.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 12:34 pm
Brandon9000 wrote:
You have declined to answer a question which contradicts your thesis, despite your rationalization.


Oh, i answered your "hypothetical," by pointing out that it is specious. Members of Congress are either familiar with the Constitution, or they employ those who are. There is absolutely no reason to assume, therefore, that they would pass such meaningless legislation. The only way for Congress to change the means by which treaties are ratified would be by amending the Constitution--something of which they are aware, even if you are not.

Quote:
No one implied that the treaty in question would become legal without ratification. It doesn't matter whether or not someone thinks the Congress would be motivated to make such a law. It's merely a hypothetical test of your thesis.


I didn't advance a thesis, i pointed out the means for the ratification of treaties which is provided in the Constitution.

Quote:
So, I repeat, it would seem to follow from your first answer to my post that you believe that if Congress passed a law reserving the sole treaty making power to themselves, a clear violation of the separation of powers, the president would be obligated to halt treaty negotiations in progress until the matter was resolved in court. Is this correct?


No, it is not correct. I am not obliged to squeeze myself into the box of your silly attempt to create an example of a hypothetical attempt by the Congress to unconstitutionally limit the power of the executive. It is true that Congress can make public law prohibiting the executive from conducting programs or implementing policies which the Congress considers inimical to the public will. A good example of this is the law which Congress passed to prevent the Reagan administration from giving direct aid to the right-wing Contras of Nicaragua. The response of the Reagan administration was Ollie North's illegal operation to sell spare parts to Iran (you know, those monsters the Shrub would like to nuke?) in exchange for the Persians funnelling aid to the Contras. In that passing such a law would be a clear violation of the provisions of the Constitution, it would only be necessary for the President to instruct the Solitictor General to appeal to the Supreme Court, which is how the process is supposed to work, in administrations which obey the law.


Quote:
Go ahead and give me fifteen more reasons why you don't have to respond to my hypothetical. If you won't debate with people who disagree with you, you can get away with any claim.


What is the point you allege there to be in debating the provisions of the Constitution with someone who is so obviously ignorant of the provisions of the document? There is no need for "fifteen more reasons," i've already pointed to the one good and sufficient reason not to entertain such a silly hypothetical. At such time as you provide a plausible hypothetical example, i'll be more than happy to respond to it.

If you want to actually learn something about how these things work, i'd advise that you consult an online biography of Woodrow Wilson, with particular attention to the issue of the League of Nations treaty. When Wilson returned from Europe, the nation was more of less ambivalent to the treaty--they were reserving judgment as it were. Republican members of the Senate were willing to negotiate with Wilson on the specific terms of the treaty in order to secure ratification, but Wilson reacted in a pigheaded manner, dug in his heels, and insisted on ratification without any revision. In literally a matter of days, he had so effectivley alienated the Republicans in the Senate, that all hope for the ratification of the treaty was gone. By the time the Republicans were done with him, most Americans opposed the treaty, and applauded the Senate for not ratifying it. Go read about it, you might learn something.

Were the topic here physics, or another branch of science, i would not think to contradict your expert knowledge. The subject is, however, the Constitution and its grant of powers and limitations of the powers of the branches of government. This is subject with which i am intimately familiar, and with which you are apparently almost totally unfamiliar. You do your arguments no favor by positing such ridiculous hypotheticals. I'll be happy to respond to any plausible example you provide.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 12:47 pm
Brandon wrote:
My argument is that the three branches of government are equal, and there are situations involving the separation of powers in which one branch simply may not make an order binding on another branch.


This is, in the most charitable construction, a naive contention. I refer you again to the final paragraph of Article One, Section Eight, which reads in full:

[Congress shall have the power . . . ] To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 12:53 pm
Setanta wrote:

...a hypothetical attempt by the Congress to unconstitutionally limit the power of the executive....

You may have a point (about the separation of powers). I'll think about the matter. It was, however, my opinion that scenarios can easily occur regarding separation of powers conflicts in which the Constitution is vague.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 12:59 pm
Brandon9000 wrote:
Setanta wrote:

...a hypothetical attempt by the Congress to unconstitutionally limit the power of the executive....

You may have a point (about the separation of powers). I'll think about the matter. It was, however, my opinion that scenarios can easily occur regarding separation of powers conflicts in which the Constitution is vague.


I have no beef with that. However, you have not provided such examples. Even in such a case, as i have already pointed out, the President's legal recourse is to instruct the Solicitor General to approach a member of the Surpreme Court for an injunction pending a review by the Court. This is not only a normal procedure, i don't believe (although i may be wrong) that a member of the Court has ever refused such a request by the Solicitor General.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 01:45 pm
Brandon,

Quote:
the legislature cannot order the president to forfeit powers granted to him by the Constitution.


First of all, the power to wiretap is not granted to the president in the Constitution; I certainly can't find the words that say that.

Second, the Executive branch agreed to have their power limited. Congress didn't 'order' anything. Thus, it is quite binding, until the SC decides that it isn't, and Bush is responsible for the consequences of breaking the law.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
 

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