Monday, February 06, 2017

Torture Memos author John Yoo says Trump has gone too far

BY MALLORY SHELBOURNE - 
John Yoo, a former Justice Department attorney known for writing legal memorandums on enhanced interrogation tactics known as the Torture Memos, says President Trump has gone too far in his use of executive power.
In a New York Times op-ed on Monday, Yoo argues that Trump's use of executive power is worrisome.
“He should understand the Constitution’s grant of executive power,” Yoo wrote, referencing Alexander Hamilton, who co-wrote the Federalist Papers, a series of essays on the Constitution.
“He should share Hamilton’s vision of an energetic president leading the executive branch in a unified direction, rather than viewing the government as the enemy. He should realize that the Constitution channels the president toward protecting the nation from foreign threats, while cooperating with Congress on matters at home.”


Yoo said Trump, as commander in chief, does not have the constitutional authority to order the construction of a border wall, nor does he have the power to terminate trade deals negotiated by Congress, like the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Yoo said that Trump’s executive order imposing a temporary ban on nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries entering the United States “falls within the law,” but noted reports that Trump had originally sought a “Muslim ban.” Yoo said such an order would “violate the Constitution’s protection for freedom of religion or its prohibition on the state establishment of religion.”
“Had Mr. Trump taken advantage of the resources of the executive branch as a whole, not just a few White House advisers, he would not have rushed out an ill-conceived policy made vulnerable to judicial challenge,” he wrote.
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