I voted for Kodos

George, "The Case for Bush" Will complains today about unconstitutional assertions of executive power.  Now you tell us, his loyal readers ought to think.  While saying a lot of things that are likely to be true–something of an issue for him of late–he makes the following assertion about claims of executive power:

When in 1952 Truman, to forestall a strike, cited his "inherent" presidential powers during wartime to seize the steel mills, the Supreme Court rebuked him. In a letter here that he evidently never sent to Justice William Douglas, Truman said, "I don't see how a Court made up of so-called 'liberals' could do what that Court did to me." Attention, conservatives: Truman correctly identified a grandiose presidency with the theory and practice of liberalism.

Hold on a second.  Could it be that Truman was wrong about liberalism and the judges were right?  Aside from that, it ought to be noted that Truman had the courtesy not to send the letter or challenge their jurisdiction.  

2 thoughts on “I voted for Kodos”

  1. I’m sorry, but Will could not be misinterpreting Youngstown v Sawyer more egregiously. The court held that the SPECIFIC example at hand – executive control of an industry simply because the president decides that it’s essential to a contemporaneous war effort – was unconstitutional. The majority opinion recognizes that the “inherent” executive powers referenced by Will do in fact exist. Subsequent presidents have relied on that decision heavily.

    I am extraordinarily skeptical that Will has read this case.

  2. Then there’s the union-busting part. As a member of a union, I wouldn’t find the assertion of executive power over the union’s right to strike very liberal. But I guess I’m jut in thrall to the liberal something or other.

Comments are closed.