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A Debate on Presidential Power During War Time

Does the president have unrestricted power during war time? How does the "separation of powers" work during a pre-emptive military operation? What legal inquiries must the U.S. consider with the Patri

A Debate on Presidential Power During War Time

Tom Fudge: When you think of the important legal questions of our time, you may think about abortion, affirmative action, or maybe eminent domain. But a growing number of people believe the number one legal issue in America today is the power of the president. We've seen it come to a head in the fight against terror and the war in Iraq. The Bush administration, and its Justice Department, have claimed broad powers in the current climate. And that attitude has affected decisions about conducting the war, detaining terror suspects, and eavesdropping on U.S. residents. 

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One person at the heart of this controversy has been John Yoo. Now a law professor at Berkeley, he assisted in writing the Patriot Act. As a justice department lawyer, he penned controversial memos on the definition of torture and on domestic eavesdropping. Yoo has written a book called War by Other Means . Yoo joins Michael Ramsey to debate presidential power. Professor Ramsey teaches constitutional law and foreign relations law at the USD law school.

The "War Power Debate" takes place tonight, Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Reservations can be made by calling (619) 260-6848 or emailing usdlawevent@sandiego.edu .

Guests

  • Michael D. Ramsey , professor of constitutional law, international business transactions, and foreign relations law at USD School of Law.
  • John Yoo , professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law.

Break Music:   P.S.A. by Jimmy Chamberlin, from the album Life Begins Again (2005)

End Music:   Storm Returns by Prefuse 73, from the album One Word Extinguisher (2003)

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