Senator Russ Feingold outlines constitutional priorities for Obama

The motivation for this blog sprouted around the FISA issue. All along the way, Senator Russ Feingold (D, WI) has been an unwavering voice demanding a return to constitutionality and accountability.

On Friday, Senator Feingold released a statement urging Obama to undo the damage done to our legal system by the Bush administration. Some issues relate directly to campaign promises and suggestions made by Obama.

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold is urging President-elect Barack Obama to take “concrete steps” to restore the rule of law after the eight-year assault by the Bush Administration on the Constitution. In a letter to the President-elect, Feingold offered recommendations for action in four key areas – the separation of powers, excessive government secrecy, detention and interrogation policy, and domestic surveillance and privacy. In addition to outlining specific actions the new administration should take, Feingold called on the new president to clearly and unequivocally renounce President Bush’s extreme claims of executive authority. In the letter, Feingold suggested to the President-elect that mentioning the issue during his inaugural address would “affirm to the nation, and the world, that respect for the rule of law has returned to the Oval Office.”

“In light of this recent history, I believe that one of the most important things that you can do as President is to take concrete steps to restore the rule of law in this country – that is, to return to the White House respect for an appropriate separation and balance of powers among the branches, for the President’s important but not paramount place in our constitutional system of government, for the laws that Congress writes and the importance of its oversight functions, and for the judiciary’s crucial role in interpreting the law.” Feingold wrote. “As I know you recognize, we can protect our national security – in fact, we can do it more effectively – without trampling on the rights of Americans or the rule of law.”

The letter then elaborates on the following major points:

  • Separation of Powers
  • Excessive Government Secrecy
  • Detention and Interrogation Policy
  • Domestic Surveillance and Privacy

Thanks to Senator Feingold for continuing to bring these issues into the national discussion.

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