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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:12 AM
Original message
"Bush's legal foes now Obama's legal team"
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 08:18 AM by Pirate Smile
Bush's legal foes now Obama's legal team

President Barack Obama is staffing his Justice Department with some of his predecessors fiercest critics, among them lawyers who were fired by President Bush or who quit jobs working for his administration.
Now, the opposition is in charge,
and lawyers who spent years defining the limits of executive power will be helping wield it.

The change may be most dramatic at the Justice Departments Office of Legal Counselwhich defended some of Bushs most controversial policieswhere a small cadre of lawyers who had an outsized influence on legal criticism of Bush are taking the top three jobs.
Those threeDawn Johnsen, Martin Lederman, and David Barronand others made the case that Bushs interrogation policy was justified by flawed legal reasoning. Their arguments precipitated one of Obamas most dramatic early acts: flatly repudiating all government legal advice on interrogation issued between September 11, 2001 and January 20, 2009.

-snip-
The OLC lawyers are only a few among the erstwhile opposition figures now entering the administration. Neal Katyal, who successfully argued a key Supreme Court case on the rights of Guantanamo Bay detainees, will be principal deputy solicitor general. David Kris, who was an internal and then external critic of warrantless wiretapping, will head the Obama Justice Departments national security division. And David Iglesias, the former U.S. Attorney for New Mexico whose firing drew bipartisan condemnation and helped bring down an attorney general, has been called up as a top military terror prosecutor.

The Office of Legal Counsel, though, occupies a unique position. Historically, it guards its independence, despite being located wholly in the executive branch. In the Bush years, though, it articulated the rationale for some of his most controversial policies, justifying interrogation practices like waterboarding and supporting the presidents defiance of a range of Congressional actions. In a famous 2002 memo, an OLC deputy assistant attorney general, John Yoo, argued for unprecedented presidential power and an extremely narrow definition of torture.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/17895.html
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Inuca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
1. "I won" :-)
God, I still have to pinch myself several times per day.
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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:25 AM
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2. Seems to me this is extraordinarily significant...
We may have issues with some of his appointments and question the reasoning of the how's and why's of a few things (the Raytheon lobbyist in particular), but it seems as far as INTENT and the core of how he plans to govern is contained in how he is reshaping the Justice Department. And it's a core of integrity. :)
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stevedeshazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:20 AM
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3. I'm giddy
Oh, the possibilities....
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
4. Ohhhh! FOES!
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 09:30 AM by The Backlash Cometh
I read that completely wrong the first time.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. you might want to reread that para
i had to read it a couple times, because it was sort of written in the negative. these are the attorneys that disagreed with yoo, et al. politico- :eyes:

but, yeah, lawyers are trained to argue their clients interests, and don't seem to care too much about what the actual law says. if they took their oaths seriously, they would have to tell a lot of their client to go home and get over it. not much money in that.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Absafrickinlootely.
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 10:08 AM by The Backlash Cometh
What a relief.

But, yes, I think the legal field needs an enema and I'm the sluicer to give it to them.
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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
7. kick
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