Tortured Defenses of Obama's Presidential Power
1:05 PM, Jun 3, 2014 • By ADAM J. WHITE
Unsurprisingly, legal scholars criticized this reasoning vehemently. In a widely-read series of Harvard Law Review articles, professors David Barron and Marty Lederman criticized the administration for using this method of statutory interpretation to "avoid" the constitutional issue:
Barron and Lederman added that the OLC's approach was constitutionally problematic in and of itself because, they argued, it fell far short of the president's constitutional duties to uphold the law:
In a separate blog post, Lederman also mocked the notion that the Bush administration's interpretation of Congress's intent actually reflected reality:
Although the Bergdahl-terrorist swap came to light only a few days ago, it is safe to say that criticism of the Obama administration's assertions of executive power have been, let's say, rather muted. David Barron is not going to comment anytime soon, but for good reason: He's now a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals to the First Circuit, after serving in Obama's OLC (where he authored controversial memos defending the president's use of drones to kill an American terrorist recruiter).
Meanwhile, Barron's co-author, Marty Lederman (who also was appointed to Obama's OLC) has proffered a few comments in support of the administration, on his blog.
(To be clear, Lederman urges that he's not actually defending the administration, but rather just analyzing the administration's analysis. It's worth noting that when other professors attempted similar "non-defenses" in the Bush years, Lederman was less than impressed by such distinctions.)
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