Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Democracy is the road to socialism.”     Karl Marx

June 22, 2007

Dick Cheney Rewrites The Constitution

by Doug Mataconis

Vice-President Cheney’s office is asserting that the Vice-President is not part of the Executive Branch:

For four years, Vice President Dick Cheney has resisted routine oversight of his office’s handling of classified information, and when the National Archives unit that monitors classification in the executive branch objected, the vice president’s office suggested abolishing the oversight unit, according to documents released yesterday by a Democratic congressman.

(….)

[O]fficials familiar with Mr. Cheney’s view said that he and his legal adviser, David S. Addington, did not believe that the executive order applied to the vice president’s office because it had a legislative as well as an executive status in the Constitution. Other White House offices, including the National Security Council, routinely comply with the oversight requirements, according to Mr. Waxman’s office and outside experts.

(…)

Mr. Addington stated in conversations that the vice president’s office was not an “entity within the executive branch” because, under the Constitution, the vice president also plays a role in the legislative branch, as president of the Senate, able to cast a vote in the event of a tie.

Last time I checked, the Vice-Presidency was created under Article II of the Constitution, just like the Presidency. That, notwithstanding the fact that the Vice-President does sit as President of the Senate, would seem to clearly make it part of the Executive Branch. Unless you agree with Dick Cheney, in which case it’s part of the Super-Secret Branch.

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8 Comments

  1. Super-Secret Branch ? Based on his behavior and speeches, I’d swear that Cheney thinks it is actually the Real-Power-Behind-the-Throne branch.

    Comment by Tom Gellhaus — June 22, 2007 @ 7:37 am
  2. Since Cheney says he’s not a part of the executive branch, does this mean we can quit paying him. Or if he’s part of the legislative branch (as he seems to be claiming) does this mean that Congress can haul him before an ethics committee?

    Comment by UCrawford — June 22, 2007 @ 9:06 am
  3. Of course, if Cheney is not part of the executive branch he cannot claim “Executive privilege”. I don’t think he or his “legal advisor” have thought of that yet.

    Comment by Grendel — June 22, 2007 @ 9:14 am
  4. They’ve probably thought of that. They’re more likely hoping that nobody else thinks of that.

    Comment by UCrawford — June 22, 2007 @ 9:30 am
  5. Interesting comment Grendel. Somehow this seems like a legitimate gray area, though I’m not so sure. The vice president is outlined in the executive section of the constitution, yet is president of the Senate. But I suppose that the office was created as part of the executive first, so I’d say that he’d be a part of the executive. Weird.

    Comment by Adam — June 22, 2007 @ 8:49 pm
  6. It’s clear that this is a violation of the constitution and this jerk administration is continually taking advantage of us, like they have since they stole the election in 2000. There is no gray area here. He is part of the executive branch, no questions asked. Why hasn’t this issue been raised in 231 years? Because he’s BREAKING THE LAW, for which this administration has no regard. It makes me sick that you people sit there and nod your heads while they beat you. Next time, instead of watching american idol, try getting out and voting.

    Comment by PPMJ — June 25, 2007 @ 6:34 am
  7. PPMJ, I’m going to vote this time but if I get two stinkers for nominees again (like we always do) I’m staying home. There isn’t enough difference between the major candidates to waste my time voting for one of them.

    When there is a tie in the Electoral College the House of Representatives supposed to decide who becomes President not the Courts. Harry Browne wasn’t going to win in 2000 anyway :(

    Comment by Radical Times — June 25, 2007 @ 9:54 am
  8. [...] White House spokesperson Dana Perino tries to explain Dick Cheney’s bizarre assertion that he’s not part of the Executive Branch: [...]

    Pingback by Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Yea I Don't Get It Either — June 25, 2007 @ 10:01 pm

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