January 12, 2006

On the Government's Wartime Authority

Judge Alito was asked a number of questions regarding the interplay of national security, executive power, and judicial review. Judge Alito noted:
[I]t's particularly important that we adhere to the Bill of Rights in times of war and in times of national crisis, because that's when there's the greatest temptation to depart from them....

[W]hen situations like [Youngstown Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952)] come up, it is the responsibility of the judiciary to hold fast....

The courts do not have expertise in foreign affairs or in military affairs.... But there is the other powerful consideration that it is the responsibility of the courts to protect individual rights in cases that are properly before the court....

I certainly don't think that the president has a blank check in time of war.
Representative exchanges, limited to this area of law, are available here [Day 2], here [Day 3], and here [Day 4].

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