Executive Power

John Yoo Worries About Presidential Presumption

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In a New York Times op-ed piece, John Bolton and John Yoo, former Bush administration officials not known for expressing concern about executive branch power grabs, urge Congress to demand that the president respect its constitutional authority…to reject international agreements that Bolton and Yoo do not like. While evading the Treaty Clause's requirement of approval by two-thirds of the Senate was OK in the case of Bretton Woods, GATT, and NAFTA, they say, it is clearly improper when dealing with climate change agreements, the Law of the Sea Treaty, and the International Criminal Court. Bolton and Yoo, who as a Justice Department attorney notoriously argued that the president can do pretty much whatever he wants in the name of national security, conclude by slyly suggesting that Republicans in the Senate help the incoming Democratic president "strike the proper balance between the legislative and executive branches that so many have called for in recent years."