Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Thanks to Congress, Viceroy Chertoff Does Not Have to Face the Appeals Process Over Taking Land for a Border Wall

The question of whether Congress can simply abdicate its oversight (and that of the appellate process) of presidential power is jumping the appeals process and going straight to the Supreme Court. Our U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper (D-Nashville) voted in favor of abdication to George W. Bush in 2005. I wonder if he would vote the same way today?

At least one Supreme Court Justice seems to dissent from Mr. Cooper's position:

“It is no answer, of course, to say that Congress surrendered its authority by its own hand,” he wrote. “Abdication of responsibility is not part of the constitutional design.”

Justice [Anthony] Kennedy made a broader point, too, one perhaps more apt today than it was 10 years ago.

“Separation of powers was designed to implement a fundamental insight,” he wrote. “Concentration of power in the hands of a single branch is a threat to liberty.”

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