Bush's Vanished Prisoner

He Wonders Whether He Will See the Light of Day Again

Freiman quotes Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson's concurring opinion in Youngstown Sheet & Tube v. Sawyer (1952) that the commander in chief's power "is not such an absolute—as might be implied from that office in a militaristic system—but is subject to limitations consistent with a constitutional Republic, whose law and policy-making branch is a representative Congress. . . . No penance would ever expiate the sin against free government of holding that a President can escape control of executive powers by law through assuming his military role." (Emphasis added).

And Justice Jackson, dissenting in a case about a basic denial of due process (Shaughnessy v. United States, 1953), thundered, "It is inconceivable to me that this measure of simple justice and fair dealing [due process] would menace the security of this country. No one can make me believe that we are that far gone."

Are we that far gone, Mr. President?

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