The Court Hands Congress an Opportunity
The Court Hands Congress an Opportunity:
For anyone who was worried that the United States was in danger of losing its precious freedoms as it mobilized to combat the threat of Islamic terrorism, the Stevens opinion was the best possible Independence Day gift. The Supreme Court that helped install President Bush in the presidency when it cut off the recounting of Florida votes sent him a clear message that he must operate in ways that Congress and the Constitution permit.
I am delighted that Republican congressional leaders say they hope to turn the ruling to their advantage by engaging the Democrats in a lively debate about the president's counterterrorism strategy. That debate is long overdue. In the first reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks, Congress gave Bush broadly worded authority to protect the country and strike back at the terrorists. After that it paid little attention for the next four years to the way that authority was being used -- and how the administration assumed additional powers.