Tag Archives: term limits

Judge Brett Kavanaugh on separation of powers (Part 2)

There has been a lot of commentary about Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s law review articles on the investigation, indictment and prosecution of a president, but I believe you should see selected excerpts from his writings for yourself.

Here is a link to his 2009 Minnesota Law Review article Separation of Powers During the Forty- Fourth Presidency and Beyond Copyright © 2009 by Brett M. Kavanaugh (selected excerpts):

Based on my experience in the White House and the Justice Department, in the independent counsel’s office, in the judicial branch as a law clerk and now a judge, and as a teacher of separation of powers law, I have developed a few specific ideas for alleviating some of the problems we have seen arise over the last sixteen years. I believe these proposals would create a more effective and efficient federal government, consistent with the purposes of our Constitution as outlined in the Preamble. Fully justifying these ideas would require writing a book—and probably more than one. My goal in this forum is far more modest: to identify problems worthy of additional attention, sketch out some possible solutions, and call for further discussion.

I. PROVIDE SITTING PRESIDENTS WITH A TEMPORARY DEFERRAL OF CIVIL SUITS AND OF CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS AND INVESTIGATIONS

First, my chief takeaway from working in the White House for five-and-a-half years—and particularly from my nearly three years of work as Staff Secretary, when I was fortunate to travel the country and the world with President Bush—is that the job of President is far more difficult than any other civilian position in government. It frankly makes being a member of Congress or the judiciary look rather easy by comparison. The decisions a President must make are hard and often life-or-death, the pressure is relentless, the problems arise from all directions, the criticism is unremitting and personal, and at the end of the day only one person is responsible. There are not eight other colleagues (as there are on the Supreme Court), or ninety-nine other colleagues (as there are in the Senate), or 434 other colleagues (as there are in the House). There is no review panel for presidential decisions and few opportunities for do-overs. The President alone makes the most important decisions. It is true that presidents carve out occasional free time to exercise or read or attend social events. But don’t be fooled. The job and the pressure never stop. We exalt and revere the presidency in this country—yet even so, I think we grossly underestimate how difficult the job is. At the end of the Clinton presidency, John Harris wrote an excellent book about President Clinton entitled The Survivor. I have come to think that the book’s title is an accurate description for all presidents in the modern era.

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Oh brother

Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com

scotuscare

A little while back Rachel Maddow did a wonderful segment that had me nodding my head in furious agreement and applauding (I seriously clapped my hands at the TV, you guys). She expressed her bewilderment at certain political concepts that aren’t really meaningful when closely examined or helpful when put into practice, but are wildly popular with some segments of the public. Things like term limits (which regular people looooove but aren’t really conducive to effective governance), or nepotism (thinking someone is qualified to hold office simply because his or her relative did). It culminated in her main thesis about Donald Trump (to quote John Oliver, why is he still a thing?) but I’m going to draw from her build-up to laugh at the latest stunt by the GOP majority in the House to get back at the Supreme Court for upholding the ACA subsidies in their decision announced Thursday. Continue reading