On What Authority?

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Tim Russert asked Secretary Rice yesterday, "What is the constitutional authority for the president to eavesdrop on American citizens without getting court approval?"

The remarkable thing about this question to me is that he asked it when he did. Why is this not question asked about everything the President or Congress does? On what Constitutional authority is the federal government paying for Katrina? On what Constitutional authority is Congress holding hearings about drug use in baseball, or the ranking system in college football?

I have not had a chance to fully take in all the news surrounding what prompted Russert's question. It's a complicated and thorny legal issue, that may shake many of our assumptions about federal power. I just wonder about the selective challenges to federal power. I've believed for years that every new law or exercise of federal power should be required to include a justification for that power; maybe now is the time to bring this idea up again. slashdot.org

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on December 19, 2005 11:18 AM.

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