Blog of Rights

The Unitary Executive…Is…What Again?

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 4:27pm

One aspect of the Bush administration that's been especially pernicious is its — or shall we say Dick Cheney and David Addington's — belief in the unitary executive. Remember in June when Addington was testifying before the House Judiciary Subcommittee, and he was asked about the unitary theory? He replied: "I don't know what it is."

We all got a good chuckle out of that one.

As we celebrate Constitution Day, Red Wind points out in the Seminal today:

As much as the biggest proponent of the unitary executive “theory” would like to think he did it alone, he couldn’t have really made his solo performance hum as well as he has without the cooperation of a furtive and feckless legislature. That the leadership of Congress changed hands two years ago has been of little consequence when it comes to these grand matters, and so, with Cheney due to relinquish his official control in just four short months, the 221-year-old Constitution is in more peril today than ever.

…[A]fter eight years of complicity and codification, the current imbalance of power runs the risk of being passed on to another executive with little done to restore the equilibrium between the branches that is required by the Constitution, and nothing done to punish those that disregarded those constraints…
We couldn't have said it better. The executive branch can't ride roughshod over the Constitution unless a compliant Congress gets out of the way. Join us in voting your values: Vote Constitution!

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