April 2008 Vol. 106 No. 6 THE REVIEW

Posner: Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency

Stephen Reinhardt

Weakening the Bill of Rights:
A Victory for Terrorism

Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency. By Richard A. Posner. New York: Oxford University Press. 2006. Pp. xiv, 178. $18.95.

What is most remarkable about Richard Posner’s latest book—and he has written many—is that he argues that we should repose full confidence in the executive branch to handle the most sensitive constitutional issues of our time without once mentioning the flagrant breaches of law and critical falsehoods with which President Bush and his administration have deluged the public since 9/11. This only seven years after he composed a lengthy tome regarding President Clinton’s impeachment in which he appropriately, if harshly, condemned the president for his unethical and illegal conduct, principally his deliberate lies and purposeful lack of candor with the American people.  Nor, although perhaps less directly relevant to his present book, does Posner discuss at any point the lawlessness and deception of President Nixon and his high aides and advisors, let alone the Iran-Contra affair under the Reagan administration or the countless other executive branch abuses of power we have suffered in the past twenty-five years.

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