Does the ‘Unitary Theory’ Have Anything To Do With Unitarians?

Silly me….all caught up in the rigors of a 10-minute session in court today and forgetting that there were “war criminals” being questioned by Congress, e.g., John Yoo and David Addington. I was watching this bit of a video from TPM and this little tidbit caught my attention.

Addington states, “ALL of the Executive Power is vested in A president of the United States. One president. All of the executive power. Not some of it. Not part of it. Not the parts Congress wants to exercise itself.”

Now, Article II of the Constitution reads:

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

It does not state that ALL of the executive power is vested . . . . unless the “all” is implied.

From Source Watch

The unitary executive theory “asserts that all executive authority must be in the President’s hands, without exception.”[4]

President George W. Bush “has been asserting from the outset of his presidency” that presidential power “must be unilateral, and unchecked.”[5]

“But the most recent and blatant presidential intrusions on the law and Constitution supply the verse to that refrain. They not only claim unilateral executive power, but also supply the train of the President’s thinking, the texture of his motivations, and the root of his intentions.

They make clear, for instance, that the phrase ‘unitary executive’ is a code word for a doctrine that favors nearly unlimited executive power. Bush has used the doctrine in his signing statements to quietly expand presidential authority.”[6]

“The President announced in these signings that he would construe provisions in a manner consistent with his ‘constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch.’ While the President clearly has the authority to supervise the executive branch, it is unclear how far he might construe this authority under the unitary executive theory.”[8]

I don’t know – can you use the very document you spit on to justify your actions regardless of the despicable heinous manner you carry out those actions? Can you claim unilateral power as posited in the Constitution when you don’t respect any other part of the Constitution, specifically say in the matter of civil liberties granted via the Constitution?

Don’t think so….

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2 Responses

  1. A few days ago I didn’t even know what David Addington looked like. Oh, those were happier times! This arrogant buffoon makes my short list of people who I detest more than George W. Bush. He is beyond redemption, utterly execrable.

    I don’t know – can you use the very document you spit on to justify your actions regardless of the despicable heinous manner you carry out those actions? Can you claim unilateral power as posited in the Constitution when you don’t respect any other part of the Constitution, specifically say in the matter of civil liberties granted via the Constitution?

    Has it ever occurred to you that scholars of the future will be left to ponder over an edited version of the Constitution that starts with Article II?

  2. Has it ever occurred to you that scholars of the future will be left to ponder over an edited version of the Constitution that starts with Article II?

    Well nooo….not until YOU bring it up!

    During Scooter’s trial, firedoglake was ‘live blogging’ it and I remember how sweet he looks until he opens his mouth. At that trial, he apparently didn’t come across as arrogant as it was known he was – especially given his penchant for secrecy and his thoughts on power.

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