Feingold Gets It
For a rare example of what should be the content of the Sunday morning chat shows, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos, Russell Feingold puts his modus where his ponens is:
STEPHANOPOULOS: But as you know, the President says he was acting on his inherent authority under the Constitution, and even your resolution acknowledges that no federal court has ruled that a president does not have that authority as commander in chief, so aren’t you jumping the gun?See that? Simple, simple, simple. No need to conjure up a Hegelian synthesis; just ascertain the facts, and see what beliefs are occasioned by the lights of the going theory (in this case, the corpus of American law).
FEINGOLD: Not at all. You know, we’ve had a chance here for three months to look at whether there’s any legal basis for this, and they’re using shifting legal justifications. First they try to argue that somehow under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act they can do this. It’s pretty clear that they can’t. Then there’s the argument that somehow the military authorization for Afghanistan allowed this. This has basically been laughed out of the room in the Congress. So the last resort is to somehow say that the president has inherent authority to ignore the law of the United States of America, and that has the consequence that the president could even order the assassination of American citizens if that’s the law. So there is no sort of independent inherent authority that allows the president to override the laws passed by the Congress of the United States.