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May 24, 2006

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neil

One thing about consistent advocates of force is that they have a solution to every problem. Kind of like that carpenter whose only tool is a hammer.

pgl

Since the FBI is investigating Hastert, I hope Glenn gets his wish!

Bubba

"Whatever the merits of the Congressional protests, the idea of an unchecked executive branch and a "search 'em all" mentality is not very funny. "

You're on a roll today, Ed. "Stretch" seems far too diminished a description of your points. And it's pretty clear there is no such thing as a cheap shot when it comes to Glenn, isn't there?

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/007048.php

Key points:

"This can't be the same Congress that issues subpoenas for all sorts of probes into the executive branch and the agencies it runs. Does Congress really want to establish a precedent that neither branch has to answer subpoenas if issued by the other, even if approved by a judge -- which this particular subpoena was?"

Here's the Dafydd link:

http://biglizards.net/blog/archives/2006/05/criminal_schrim.html

Fred Gregory

Er, I think the 4th ammendment was complied with in the search of Jefferson's office. It was a search warrant issued by a federal judge. A felony is an exception to the speech and debate clause on which the Speaker hangs his hat. Sorry Denny but you are wrong. Let's say the FBI had probable cause that 10 kilos were being stored in the office of a member. Any question? The chambers of Federal Judges have been searched in the past.
This is a silly argument. Reynolds has a link in his post to a piece by Orrin Kerr. Suggest you read it.

melior

Oh, I'm sure Glenn meant to say "get a warrant and then search 'em all"? Perhaps he will clarify it for us then.

Eric Muller

Ed, I think the nub of the congressional objection is not so much that the 4th Amendment was violated, but that even warranted executive searches of Congressional offices violates the separation of powers.

Ed Cone

Eric, I think you are correct about the Congressional argument. However, Glenn's statement "search 'em all. Now" goes seems to have 4th Amendment implications as well.

Bubba, you're just ignorant. I have a long and friendly relationship with Glenn, and we link frequently to each others' work. I have a problem with this post, and I said so.

David Wharton

Eric, does the separation of powers entail that members of congress are immune from normal law enforcement procedures? That seems to be what Hastert is aiming for.

Also, what privacy rights accrue to government offices? It would seem to me (as a layman), not many ought to.

MasterD

"Ed, I think the nub of the congressional objection is not so much that the 4th Amendment was violated, but that even warranted executive searches of Congressional offices violates the separation of powers."

How so? The Executive Branch went to the Judicial Branch and made its case for a search warrant. Seems like the balance of powers was kept intact.

Now if the Executive Branch went ahead and acted all on its lonesome, then yes, that would be a breach of the balance.

---

Bubba

"Bubba, you're just ignorant. I have a long and friendly relationship with Glenn, and we link frequently to each others' work. I have a problem with this post, and I said so."

And this is how you talk about someone you have a long a friendly relationship with?

"For a law professor and widely-read commentator to shout "screw the Fourth Amendment" as the country debates issues like the NSA and phone records is just messed up."

That's just flat out arrogant. He doesn't deserve that, and you're are over the line by saying that.

With friends like you, who needs enemies?

Lex

[["This can't be the same Congress that issues subpoenas for all sorts of probes into the executive branch and the agencies it runs. Does Congress really want to establish a precedent that neither branch has to answer subpoenas if issued by the other, even if approved by a judge -- which this particular subpoena was?"]]

Bubba, just curious -- how many subpoenas Congress has issued since George W. Bush has taken office? And how does that compare with the administrations of past prsidents?

Lex

Whoops, meant to hit "preview."

I couldn't find a comprehensive answer -- I'd probably need to go to Washington and dig through the paperwork to get that -- but here's what I did find:

This article from The New Republic says that under Clinton, a single Congressional committee, House Government Reform, issued more than 1,000 subpoenas to the executive branch, collecting more than 2 million pages of paperwork and spending millions of dollars.

That article, published in the past week, might have been relying on this Dec. 18, 2005, article from The Washington Post:

Democrats on the [House Government Reform] committee said the panel issued 1,052 subpoenas to probe alleged misconduct by the Clinton administration and the Democratic Party between 1997 and 2002, at a cost of more than $35 million. By contrast, the committee under [the current chairman, Virginia Republican Thomas M.] Davis has issued three subpoenas to the Bush administration, two to the Energy Department over nuclear waste disposal at Yucca Mountain, and one last week to the Defense Department over Katrina documents.

Now, the source for this information is Democrats, so I'm taking it with a grain of salt. But I also note that no one seems to have contested the accuracy of this information. In the current political environment, I'm sure that if the information had been wildly inaccurate, Davis or someone else would have raised a stink. Note also, that Davis himself concedes that Congressional oversight of the administration has been inadequate.

Maybe Congressional Republicans are squawking about the Jefferson search (which I don't have a problem with as long as the law is followed, by the way) because they have guilty consciences.

scarshapedstar

Bubba,

"That's just flat out arrogant. He doesn't deserve that, and you're are over the line by saying that.

With friends like you, who needs enemies?"

What the heck has got your panties in such a wad? Was it the "he messed up" part? I've seen thicker skin on an onion.

T

You know, if the fact that there is a D by the name throws you off, you could just read the Congressional Record. Its not like the GOP didn't blow their wad chasing Clinton's weenie to the tune of 200 million taxpayer dollars, while the lot of the impeachment crowd turned out to be egregious whoremongers, gamblers, masochists, reprobates, drunkards and thieves. All they had was a rented pair of balls between them. And instapundit is a disgrace to the legal profession and general decency in the world. Spokoinie Nochie.

Jim Caserta

Ed, I think you overreacted a little bit. I think Glenn's point is that there are a lot of really serious illegal searches going on in people's homes, just Google "Cory Maye"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cory_Maye
Reynolds is a "govt keep your hands off me" Libertarian, and is drawing a distinction between an office and home. I have no expectation of privacy at my office if my employer wanted to look through my stuff (or read my email sent from a work computer).

What is worse, accepting a 100k bribe, or searching to find evidence of such bribe?

Bubba

The raw numbers of supeonas, regardless of where they originate, is beside the point, Lex.

I think it's pretty clear that Congress does not hold any immunity or special privileges in this area.

Bubba

"And instapundit is a disgrace to the legal profession and general decency in the world."

He redeemed himself when he stopped working for algore.

Fred Gregory

Paul Chesser calmly explains the whole thing.

Deep-Freeze And Brain-Lock

Fred Gregory
Lex

[[The raw numbers of supeonas, regardless of where they originate, is beside the point, Lex.]]

Well, you were the one who suggested that 1) Congress was playing a diligent oversight role and 2) that somehow related to the rightness or wrongness of the search of Jefferson's office.

Oddly enough, though, I think we agree: If there's probable cause for a search and the law is followed and all required warrants duly obtained, search away. Or have I misunderstood you?

Bubba

"Well, you were the one who suggested that 1) Congress was playing a diligent oversight role and 2) that somehow related to the rightness or wrongness of the search of Jefferson's office."

No, that wasn't my intent.

My point is that Congress and its members are not exempt from having supoenas served. The Constitution is specific about what special legal privileges the members of Congress enjoy, and the search of Jefferson's office clearly is not prohibited.

Lex

Wow. We DO agree. What's next, cats and dogs living together in peace? ;-)

Bubba

"Wow. We DO agree. What's next, cats and dogs living together in peace? ;-)"

Picking on Ed is more fun, anyway.

Lex

True dat.

Fred Gregory

William F. Buckley has has checked his copy of the Consttution and finds nothing tghat prohibits the search of a Comgressmans office. He explains that Hasert and Peloi are reaching when they say the search was unconstitutional.

Cold Cash

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