life with sticks in one's head

Jack Balkin on Margolis and the OPR report

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Excerpt from Balkin’s thoughts on Margolis, scum of the earth, and the extraordinarily low bar for “standards of professional responsibility”:

“Yoo isn’t putting people on when he says the absurd things he says in these memos and elsewhere. He actually believes that the President is a dictator and that the President doesn’t have to obey statutes that make torture a crime. He actually believes that you should read the torture statute so narrowly that it lets the CIA torture people. John Yoo used every trick in the book to twist the law because he actually believes in a law that is twisted. And Margolis points out that other department lawyers, who, presumably, did have properly functioning consciences and were not seriously incompetent, looked at the torture memos and told Bybee that, on the whole, in the context of the limited audience for the memos, and putting aside their most ridiculous claims, the torture memos made defensible legal arguments of the kind that lawyers sometimes make on behalf of their clients. It is important to understand that Margolis reached this conclusion not because Yoo’s arguments were just or sensible, or even plausible, but because lawyers can make really really crazy arguments and still avoid professional sanction. This is less a defense of Yoo than an indictment of the doctrines of professional responsibility.”


Written by sticksinthehead

1 March 2010 at 8:16 pm

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