October 17, 2007

What to ask Mukasey.

4 law professors say what questions they'd like the Senate Judiciary Committee to ask Michael Mukasey. (The Attorney General nominee testifies today.)

A sampling:

Jack Goldsmith: "In 2002 the Department of Justice opined, 'Any effort by Congress to regulate the interrogations of battlefield combatants would violate the Constitution’s sole vesting of the commander-in-chief authority in the president.' Do you agree with this statement? How do you define the scope of the president’s exclusive military powers?"

Charles Fried: "Priorities in law enforcement and particular conceptions of controversial legal issues — affirmative action, severity and leniency in criminal prosecution and sentencing, antitrust policies, civil rights enforcement — have always been part of a president’s project for the nation. And yet the public expects and the rule of law demands impartiality in law enforcement. So the attorney general cannot be independent of the president who appointed him, as are judges or the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, but neither must he be a political operative pushing the president’s advantage at every turn. How would you balance these conflicting demands?"

Jack Balkin: "When, if ever, should the government prosecute journalists or other citizens for publishing classified information leaked to them about government activities of questionable legality?"

UPDATE: Mukasey on the "torture memo": "The Bybee memo, to paraphrase a French diplomat, was worse than a sin, it was a mistake. It was unnecessary."

4 comments:

SteveR said...

But no, we'll get Pat Leahy.

Slim999 said...

"When, if ever, should the government prosecute journalists or other citizens for publishing classified information leaked to them about government activities of questionable legality?"

Answer: When it is plainly obvious that, in doing so, they formed a RICO conspiracy with other lawbreakers to put their fellow citizens at substantial risk of harm.

hdhouse said...

I strongly advise all to see or try and see the Frontline that ran last night on PBS that confronts this issue head on. It alludes to the upcoming hearings and goes right to Goldsmith's question.

There might be no more important tone to set than this back and forth. There is obviously a lot of work to be done by the new guy whoever he is.

paul a'barge said...

Balkin: "When, if ever, should the government prosecute journalists or other citizens for publishing classified information leaked to them about government activities of questionable legality.

I would recommend being restrained in this... prosecute them only on Mon, Wed and Fri.

Balkin == mutt