Saturday, June 23, 2007

# Posted 4:28 AM by Taylor Owen  

ME TOO!: By any chance, could any of our enlightened oxblog constitutional lawyers explain this one to me:
The White House said Friday that, like Vice President Dick Cheney's office, President Bush's office is not allowing an independent federal watchdog to oversee its handling of classified national security information.

An executive order that Bush issued in March 2003 — amending an existing order — requires all government agencies that are part of the executive branch to submit to oversight. Although it doesn't specifically say so, Bush's order was not meant to apply to the vice president's office or the president's office, a White House spokesman said. (Emph mine)
(7) opinions -- Add your opinion

The explanation is at the bottom of the first page of the LA Times article:

"Cheney's office drew criticism Thursday for claiming that it was exempt from the reporting requirements because the vice president's office is not fully within the executive branch. It cited his legislative role as president of the Senate when needed to break a tie."

Or, in layman's terms, this paranoid administration will stop at nothing.
: )
I have minimal knowledge of constitutional law, but I have vague memories of reading that the White House staff is not considered to be a part of the executive branch. Rather, it is the personal staff of the President.

Why is that difference significant? I don't really know, but I think this is an established distinction, not something conjured up by the current administration. Perhaps someone with more constitutional knowledge can clarify the situation?
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