More on Ashcroft:Antonin Scalia Is an Enemy of the State! So says John Ashcroft. Jeffrey Dubner reportsGET YOUR ROBES OUT OF OUR PRISONS! I just watch
November 12, 2004

More on Ashcroft:

Antonin Scalia Is an Enemy of the State!

So says John Ashcroft. Jeffrey Dubner reports

GET YOUR ROBES OUT OF OUR PRISONS! I just watched John Ashcroft's address to the Federalist Society. It's a gripping speech, and quite frightening. He devotes the greatest portion of it to challenging the Supreme Court's decisions in Rasul v. Bush, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, and the other "enemy combatant" cases. A taste:

...intrusive judicial oversight and second-guessing of presidential determinations in these critical areas of treaties can put at risk the very security of our nation at a time of war.

It's very much in the vein of "the ability to set aside the laws is inherent in the president." There's no transcript available just yet, and I expect there'll be analyses and critiques up by more qualified legal folks than I by the time we get back from the weekend. But I wonder how confined this constitutional theory is to Ashcroft, and whether it will in any way leave office with him. I highly doubt it.

UPDATE: Tonight's keynote speaker is, of course, Federalist Society member and Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. He's as like as not to agree with Ashcroft on this, although it's hard to be sure.

I do think that this is, in part, fallout from Bush v. Gore. Everybody knows that Scalia and company don't believe the equal protection rationale they set forward for their decision. And if what the Supremes are doing is expressing their political preferences rather than setting forth judicial principles--well, why should their will get to override Bush's and Ashcroft's? Just because Scalia, Rehnquist, and company ruled in favor of Bush in 2000 doesn't mean that Bush and company respect them for it.

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