June 8, 2007 Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet

Could Bush/Cheney Suspend the

2008 Presidential Election?

     Bush has issued a directive that would place all governmental powers in his hands in the case of a catastrophic emergency.  If a terrorist attack happens before the 2008 election, could Bush and Cheney use this to avoid relinquishing power to a successor administration?  (See http://www.alternet.org/story/52801/ for the full article.)

     As the nation focused on whether Congress would exercise its constitutional duty to cut funding for the war, Bush quietly issued an unconstitutional bombshell that went virtually unnoticed by the corporate media.  The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, signed on May 9, 2007, would place all governmental power in the hands of the President and effectively abolish the checks and balances in the Constitution.  If a "catastrophic emergency" -- which could include a terrorist attack or a natural disaster -- occurs, Bush's new directive says: "The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government…"

     A seemingly innocuous phrase, the unitary executive theory actually represents a radical, ultra rightwing interpretation of the powers of the presidency. Championed by the conservative Federalist Society, the unitary executive doctrine gathers all power in the hands of the President and insulates him from any oversight by the congressional or judicial branches…

     These "unitarians" claim that all federal agencies, even those constitutionally created by Congress, are beholden to the Chief Executive, that is, the President. This means that Bush could disband agencies like the Federal Communications Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Reserve Board, etc., if they weren't to his liking…  The unitary executive dogma represents audacious presidential overreaching into the constitutional province of the other two branches of government.

     This doctrine took shape within the Bush administration shortly after 9/11. On September 25, 2001, former deputy assistant attorney general John Yoo used the words "unitary executive" in a memo he wrote for the White House: "The centralization of authority in the president alone is particularly crucial in matters of national defense, war, and foreign policy, where a unitary executive can evaluate threats, consider policy choices, and mobilize national resources with a speed and energy that is far superior to any other branch." Six weeks later, Bush began using that phrase in his signing statements.

      Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, president of the National Lawyers Guild, and the US representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists. Her new book, Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law, will be published in July. Her articles are archived at http://www.marjoriecohn.com/.

IMPEACH NOW!   CHENEY FIRST!

     1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination: anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc. 5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.

 

Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB `Ola`a (Kurtistown),

Hawai`i   96760. Phone (808) 966-7622.  Email ja@interpac.net   http://www.malu-aina.org

Hilo Peace Vigil (June 8, 2007 –  299th week) –Friday 3:30 - 5PM downtown Post Office.

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