Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Making Law, Interpreting Law

While in President Bush's Office of Legal Counsel, John Yoo wrote the (in)famous memorandum (part one, in pdf, here; part two, in pdf, here) outlining the legal justification for the use of torture. In his blog at the American Enterprise Institute, the attorney yesterday criticized Judge- and Obama Supreme Court nominee- Sonia Sotomayor in part because:

Conservatives should defend the Supreme Court as a place where cases are decided by a faithful application of the Constitution, not personal politics, backgrounds, and feelings. Republican senators will have to conduct thorough questioning in the confirmation hearings to make sure that she will not be a results-oriented voter, voting her emotions and politics rather than the law.

This is the same John Yoo who stated at a debate in April at Chapman University in Orange County, Florida

Was it worth it? We haven't had an attack in more than seven years. Fifty percent of the information that we have on al-Qaida and its workings came from interrogation.

Although Yoo ignores the false leads (leading to diversion of scarce resources) torture brings, as well as the considerable information gleaned from detainees before coercive methods were applied, obviously the ultimate justification for "enhanced interrogation techniques" can only be that it is "results-oriented." Which makes it difficult to believe that the same Republican appointee made the comments about both torture and the selection of a judicial nominee by a Democratic president. No, it's really not surprising.

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