Executive Privilege

A number of people have pointed to Charlie Savage’s great article on the responses of Presidential candidates to a bunch of questions about executive power. I’m really glad Savage asked these questions, as I’ve presented forms of these questions (specifically as it related to the underpinnings of Bush’s illegal wiretap program, which was put into place under Bill Clinton) to Hillary’s campaign and gotten no response.

That said, most of the questions either explicitly or implicitly ask candidates whether they repudiate certain of Bush’s acts, so I’m not sure they help Democratic voters distinguish between primary candidates. The exception is the question on Executive Privilege. Here are the Democrats’ answers on the the question addressing executive privilege.

Does executive privilege cover testimony or documents about decision-making within the executive branch not involving confidential advice communicated to the president himself?


With respect to the “core” of executive privilege, the Supreme Court has not resolved this question, and reasonable people have debated it. My view is that executive privilege generally depends on the involvement of the President and the White House.


I fundamentally believe that our constitutional system depends upon each branch striving to accommodate the interests of the other, and the President should seek to accommodate legitimate congressional requests for information. I also believe in an open transparent government that fulfills its obligation to share as much information as possible with the public. But it is settled law that certain limited "communications made by presidential advisors in the course of preparing advice for the President, come under the presidential communications privilege, even when these communications are not made directly to the President."


I support the constitutional separation of powers and the doctrine of executive privilege, as guided by judicial review. Unlike the current president, however, I will not invoke executive privilege merely to advance partisan ends. Read more

Hillary: Bashing the Youth Vote

Via psericks, this pisses me off:

In a jab at Obama’s efforts to encourage out-of-state students who attend college in Iowa to caucus, [Hillary] Clinton said the caucuses are only for people who live in this state.

“This is a process for Iowans. This needs to be all about Iowa, and people who live here, people who pay taxes here,” she told the Clear Lake crowd.

It pisses me off not because she’s dissing my vote (the MI primary/caucus monstrosity, that big contest for delegates that have been taken away, has been pretty much called for Hillary already). It pisses me off because I’ve run the precinct organization for a county with two large universities (U Michigan and EMU). And I’m well aware of the way that HAVA laws in many states have affected college students’ ability to vote. Read more