Tag Archives: john yoo

Constitutional Theory: A Means to an End?

Jack Goldsmith recently reviewed John Yoo’s new book on presidential power. Goldsmith, you might recall, was named under George W. Bush to head the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, where he ended up repudiating Yoo’s torture memos.

Goldsmith spends a lot of time discussing the history of a strong executive, and how liberals used to like it and conservatives hated it, and how that has changed since Reagan. He also discusses at length the Federalist Papers, as all such articles do.

But let me boil it all down for you, because here is the money quote:

“…constitutional theory is usually grounded in a theory of preferred outcomes.”

So take that, not just John You, but John Roberts, and Tony Scalia, and every other snotty jurist who thinks he or she has a monopoly on understanding the constitution.