Slowly, too slowly, the federal courts are chipping away at President Bush’s unbridled assertion of presidential power as long as it’s done in the name of the war on terrorism.
In a 2-to-1 decision, a federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled that the president cannot indefinitely imprison without trial or charges a legal U.S. resident merely on suspicion.
Former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby is headed back to court to try to forestall his 2 1/2-year prison term in the CIA leak case.
Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, planned to ask a federal judge Thursday to put the sentence on hold while he appeals his perjury and obstruction conviction.
President George W. Bush Tuesday beseeched Republican allies to resuscitate a moribund immigration bill, but appeared to change few minds on a sweeping bid to deal with 12 million illegal immigrants.
Hoping to debunk claims he is now a “lame duck”, Bush made a rare appearance at a weekly Senate Republican policy lunch, hoping to persuade conservatives to back one of his last hopes for a signature second term domestic achievement.
Congressional Republicans once snapped into line behind Bush, but deep into his second term, beset by bloodshed in Iraq and low approval ratings, his one-time allies are now being tugged towards a political future without him.
The White House wasn’t about to brook any criticism of its conduct of the war from the Republicans when they ran Congress — as unlikely as that cocky, overconfident group of legislators was to offer any — and it’s not going to invite any from the Democrats now that they’re in charge.
In the latest setback for the Bush Administration, a federal appeals court slapped the President down for violating the constitutional rights of a U.S. resident through use of the questionable and discredited “military tribunals.”
Even worse for Bush, the rebuke came from a conservative federal appeals court that the White House thought would rule favorably but the court said the President cannot order people locked up as long as he wants by calling them “enemy combatants.”
Instead, the court ruled, Bush should follow the law and the Constitution but the President, as he always does, plans to appeal.
The fight continues.
We don’t use the word “condign” very often these days.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, it means “worthy” or “suitable,” but since the end of the 17th century, it’s been used almost exclusively in conjunction with the word “punishment,” to indicate a penalty that properly suits the crime.
The handwriting may be on the wall for President George W. Bush but he’s not reading it. The President still thinks his controversial immigration deal can pass Congress.
Members of Congress aren’t so sure.
Things just keep getting worse for President Bush. His job approval ratings are in the crapper, the Iraq war worsens with each passing day and he gets no respect on Capitol Hill.
What’s a lame duck to do?
Bush decides he will stand by his man, no matter what and even, he says, if the Senate approves a no-confidence vote in the embattled attorney general.
George W. Bush is very much a lame-duck President and that message was driven home this week with the total collapse of the "grand bargain" immigration bill which failed dramatically in the Senate.
The defeat is a bitter pill for a President who has rode roughshod over Congress for the last six-and-a-half years and his growing inability to move or affect legislation showcases a shifting of power from one end of the Capitol Hall to the other.
For many, that shift is long over due.