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Need hope? Professor Marty Lederman joins Obama team

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:08 AM
Original message
Need hope? Professor Marty Lederman joins Obama team
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 08:31 AM by babylonsister
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/20...


AN OLC WE CAN BELIEVE IN.... About two weeks ago, former Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on "Face the Nation," and defended the Bush administration's legal abuses, saying they'd been endorsed by his lawyers.

"In terms of all of our actions," Cheney said, "we worked to stay close to the Office of Legal Counsel. We followed the guidance we got, which is what you're supposed to do and where you're supposed to do it."

In other words, Cheney got John Yoo to endorse actions that exceeded the law, so it's all kosher. After all, the OLC is where "you're supposed" to get this kind of authority.

It's encouraging, then, to know who'll be sitting in John Yoo's office for the foreseeable future.

A Georgetown source forwards over an email from that school's administration, reporting that Professor Marty Lederman's class will be canceled -- because he's joining the Obama administration.

Lederman, another former Clinton Office of Legal Counsel lawyer, is perhaps the most prominent of several high-profile opponents of the Bush Administration's executive power claims joining Obama, a mark that he intends not just to change but to aggressively reverse Bush's moves on subjects like torture. With hires like Barron, Johnen, and Lederman, Obama is not just going back to Democratic lawyers: These are anti-Bush lawyers.


Damn straight. Lederman has been a leading opponent of Bush's torture policies, and the legal reasoning behind them. He's even suggested that the former administration officials committed crimes in this area. Now, thankfully, Lederman is headed to the OLC.

And what an OLC it will be. The Lederman announcement came shortly after David Barron was named Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the OLC. Barron has been a staunch opponent of Bush's executive-branch power-grabs and war-time legal arguments.

Both Barron and Lederman will, of course, join Dawn Johnsen, who'll head the OLC, and whose record on these issues is sterling.


A lot of this may seem obscure. Before 2001, OLC was not widely known, and rarely thought about in a political context. But as Hilzoy recently explained, "It tells, for instance, the CIA and the Department of Interior what it judges to be permissible under the laws, and its opinions are binding. Under George W. Bush, the OLC seems to have been used to provide Get Out Of Jail Free cards -- opinions that would license whatever Bush and Cheney wanted to do, and provide some cover for people who did those things. That the OLC has that kind of power makes it a very, very important job."

That Obama has chosen terrific people to fix the OLC is a very encouraging development.

-Steve Benen
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
1. He's a good man
I've been reading his blog for a long while. :hi:
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I don't see any of them sugarcoating a thing. We shall see.
This got lost in the shuffle yesterday, so thought I'd repost. :hi:
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dccrossman Donating Member (530 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
3. Not holding my breath, but hopeful
I tried to post this yesterday too.

Lederman has hit the Bush Administration pretty hard in his blog, we'll see how he does in the "real world"... =)

From all appearances, Obama is simply setting himself up to be "above the fray". He doesn't want to be defined by the prosecution of Bush, but by appointing the people who have called Bush out for his policies, he may be putting the people in place to run that prosecution.

I can hope, right?

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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yes you can :) K & R for some more good news. nt
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eomer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. The OLC wouldn't run any prosecutions.
Their job is to issue legal opinions and give legal advice, not to prosecute anyone.

The appointments that will affect prosecutions are the Attorney General, Deputy AGs, and the various US Attorneys around the country.

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Voice for Peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
5. Happy to recommend!!
These are encouraging times.
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
7. K & R!
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Winterblues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
8. This tells me that this Administration will be Law abiding but it doesn't
tell me that those that broke the Laws will be prosecuted..I am under the i9mpression that the "War Criminals" will get away with it completely and other countries won't forget that we don't presecute crimes like this..
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Nobody knows how that will be handled, or if it will be. Guess we'll see. nt
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
10. Good man!! It's on wikipedia already.
"(...)

Lederman was an Attorney Advisor in the Department of Justices Office of Legal Counsel from 1994 to 2002, where he concentrated on questions involving freedom of speech, the Religion Clauses, congressional power and federalism, equal protection, separation of powers, copyright, and food and drug law.

Before that, Lederman was an attorney at Bredhoff & Kaiser, where his practice consisted principally of federal litigation, including appeals on behalf of labor unions, employees and pension funds, with particular emphasis on constitutional law, labor law, civil rights, RICO and employment law.

Lederman recently accepted a position in Barack Obama's administration... "

more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marty_Lederman
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
11. Glenn Greenwald:


"The impact of Obama's latest excellent DOJ appointments

(updated below - Update II)

There is some genuinely good news today from the Obama camp: following up on the appointment of the excellent Dawn Johnsen to be OLC Chief, it was announced yesterday that Johnsen's second-in-command at OLC will be Harvard Law Professor and vehement Bush critic David Barron, who, among other things, co-wrote this superb Law Review article arguing that the President's "war powers" have been wildly overstated over the last many decades while Congressional power in this area has been vastly understated. Also joining the Justice Department in a still-unknown capacity is one of the smartest, most principled, and most unyielding opponents of the legal radicalism that prevailed over the last eight years: blogger and Georgetown Law Professor Marty Lederman (who co-wrote that law review article with Barron on the Constitutional limits on the "commander-in-chief" powers). It is virtually impossible to imagine that particular group of individuals placing political allegiance to Barack Obama over the principles they have so forcefully advocated over the last several years.

(...)"

more: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/
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