Yale Law Professor and political philosopher Bruce Ackerman responds the exoneration of Jay S. Bybee and John C. Yoo in this article in the Washington Post.

I found this section interesting:

Sometimes the OLC will resist presidential overreaching. But James Madison warned us that “enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.” And it is not at all certain whether OLC lawyers may resist unreasonable claims down the line.

The Constitution requires the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” He is not free to create a system in which his lawyers have powerful incentives to subordinate the law to short-term political imperatives. Since this is precisely the current situation, the president and Congress have a constitutional obligation to establish an institutional framework that will keep future John Yoos under control.

In coming weeks, Congress should do more than call Bybee and Yoo to testify. Lawmakers should work with President Obama to create an executive tribunal that will ensure the integrity of the rule of law. Members of the tribunal will operate as judges for the executive branch, not as lawyers for the sitting president. There will be nine judges on the panel, each serving staggered 12-year terms, giving the president the chance to nominate three judges during a four-year period. Nominees must gain Senate confirmation — which will encourage the president to nominate candidates with reputations as fair-minded professionals, not legal ideologues.

For me, I am not all that interested in prosecuting Yoo or Bybee. However, steps should be taken (as Ackerman argues) to prevent this from happening in the future.

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