Happy Feingold Foto

He’s just basically trying to talk me into bed now:

While Americans’ decisive call for change this election was a clear repudiation of the Bush administration’s conduct, failing to act swiftly to reverse the damage could essentially legitimize that conduct and the extreme legal theories on which it was based. That is why it is critically important for President-elect Obama to unequivocally renounce President Bush’s extreme claims of executive authority. As I mentioned in the interview yesterday, stating this position clearly in the inaugural address would affirm to the nation, and the world, that respect for the rule of law has returned to the Oval Office.

This declaration should be followed with quick action, to ensure that history sees the outgoing administration’s actions as an aberration and not a redefinition of executive power. I plan to try to help our new President by presenting him with a range of recommendations for restoring the rule of law from constitutional, legal and historical experts. In September, I held a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Constitution Subcommittee on what should be done to restore the rule of law. An impressive array of experts set forth detailed recommendations and proposals. I hope the record of this hearing will provide President-elect Obama with a useful blueprint for his efforts, just as it will help inform my work in the Senate.

The recommendations primarily focus on four key areas – the separation of powers among the branches, government secrecy, detention and interrogation policy, and protecting the privacy of law-abiding Americans. Following my hearing in September, I laid out many of these potential changes in a speech from the Senate floor, which I also invite you to read to get a sense of what needs to be done.

I am happy to see that this issue has been gaining traction in the media and on the blogs.

I mean, come on.


6 thoughts on “Happy Feingold Foto

  1. While I agree that it is important for Obama to sharply distance himself from the Bush Doctrine(s) in every way possible, I am also very interested in what will be done to prevent some future power monger from re-instating it.

  2. Howsabout a federal statute defining signing statements, and limitations on their authority? Obama signs it into law, then the next law that comes down the pike, he offers a signing statement that oversteps those limitations. At that point, a lawsuit works its way up to the Supremes, and we get a definitive ruling on the constitutionality of both the law limiting signing statements and of signing statements themselves.
    Anybody really think that Thomas, Scalia and Roberts would call signing statements constitutional during an Obama administration? They are, after all, strict constructionists, right?
    I don’t know if it’s really a good idea to push it to the Supremes (a ruling in favor of signing statements would be bad), but pass such a law, and let everybody abide by it during the Obama administration. During which time, or soon after, we can hope that the Court will come around a bit. Then if some later president tries to exercise the signing statement option, it goes to the Supremes.
    Just a thought on a small part of the presidential authority issue.
    Oh, and go Russ!

  3. i’ve been living on crushed democratic promises since 2006. they’re empty calories.
    after the FISA business and the lieberman matter, and statements by a variety of people, it’s become pretty clear that what we’re getting from the democrats is kabuki.
    i refuse to cheer up when feingold or dodd or any democrat (including, sadly, obama) say they’re really going to tackle [fill in the blank] because they are just saying what they know their voters want to hear. (“oh yes joe liebrman is a bad man!” “oh yes spying on americans is very bad!” “oh yes torture is very bad!” “oh yes invading iraq was very bad!” “oh yes …”)
    feingold can talk all he wants about reasserting rule of law but we have had a lot of talk. neither he, nor any of the rest of the democratic senators, or obama, have ever actually done anything to back up their words.
    empty calories.
    we have been told, six ways from sunday, that there will be no criminal investigations or prosecution of any of the crimes committed by, during and on behalf of the bush administration. you have no law if you have no enforcement.
    i yawn at your appearance on bill moyer’s journal, russ feingold!

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