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Rudy Giuliani Q&A

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Charlie Savage
Globe Staff / December 20, 2007

The Giuliani campaign provided the following statement by Ted Olson, the chairman of Giuliani's Judicial Advisory Committee:

"The President must be free to defend the nation. While the Congress has an essential constitutional role in our national defense, the Supreme Court has also recognized that the president has certain core constitutional responsibilities to ensure that our nation can defend itself and our fundamental liberties in times of emergency. Controversies on this question are as old as our Constitution, and have been faced by many of our most respected presidents, and they will not disappear even after we have succeeded in the war that terrorists have declared on our citizens and homeland. Our aim must be to strike a balance between order and liberty that addresses the challenges we face within the bounds of the Constitution."


1. Does the president have inherent powers under the Constitution to conduct surveillance for national security purposes without judicial warrants, regardless of federal statutes?

The candidate declined to answer this question.

2. In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites -- a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)

The candidate declined to answer this question.

3. Does the Constitution empower the president to disregard a congressional statute limiting the deployment of troops -- either by capping the number of troops that may be deployed to a particular country or by setting minimum home-stays between deployments? In other words, is that level of deployment management beyond the constitutional power of Congress to regulate?

The candidate declined to answer this question.

4. Under what circumstances, if any, would you sign a bill into law but also issue a signing statement reserving a constitutional right to bypass the law?

The candidate declined to answer this question.

5. Does the Constitution permit a president to detain US citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants?

The candidate declined to answer this question.

6. Does executive privilege cover testimony or documents about decision-making within the executive branch not involving confidential advice communicated to the president himself?

The candidate declined to answer this question.

7. If Congress defines a specific interrogation technique as prohibited under all circumstances, does the president's authority as commander in chief ever permit him to instruct his subordinates to employ that technique despite the statute?

The candidate declined to answer this question.

8. Under what circumstances, if any, is the president, when operating overseas as commander-in-chief, free to disregard international human rights treaties that the US Senate has ratified?

The candidate declined to answer this question.

9. Do you agree or disagree with the statement made by former Attorney General Gonzales in January 2007 that nothing in the Constitution confers an affirmative right to habeas corpus, separate from any statutory habeas rights Congress might grant or take away?

The candidate declined to answer this question.

10. Is there any executive power the Bush administration has claimed or exercised that you think is unconstitutional? Anything you think is simply a bad idea?

The candidate declined to answer this question.

11. Who are your campaign's advisers for legal issues?

The candidate declined to answer this question.

12. Do you think it is important for all would-be presidents to answer questions like these before voters decide which one to entrust with the powers of the presidency? What would you say about any rival candidate who refuses to answer such questions?

The candidate declined to answer this question.

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