We’ve been here before: A President believes the so-called "war of terror" gives him the right to do whatever he wants, even if it means ignoring the Constitution, without any checks and balances on his abuse of power.
Then the courts step in and say "wait a minute, Mr. President. Even you are not above the law."
It took a while for the courts to crack down on President George W. Bush’s frequent — and excessive — abuses of power.
President Barack Obama is not getting a grace period from courts that have moved quickly to try and curb his excesses.
Bush continued do do whatever he wanted by ignoring the courts. Will Obama do the same?
President Barack Obama’s claims of broad executive authority to carry out the war on terror are drawing fire from an unexpected source: federal judges nominated by President George W. Bush, who asserted the sweeping powers in the first place.
In recent weeks, three different Bush appointees considering cases relating to war-on-terror detainees have rejected arguments from Obama’s Justice Department, which adopted virtually unchanged the positions the Bush administration had staked out.
In each case, the Bush-appointed judge said the executive branch was overstepping its authority and claiming more powers than the law allowed.
“It took a while for the courts to turn on George Bush. Obama’s not getting that same period,” said Jonathan Turley, a liberal legal analyst at The George Washington University. “The fact that these are Republican appointees tends to add an exclamation point to their decisions.”
“Even Republican judges are seeing through the arguments and the idea that the war on terror justified depriving prisoners of constitutional protections,” said Jonathan Hafetz of the American Civil Liberties Union.