“Executive Power [i.e., Bush’s] and Its Constitutional Limitations”

Copies of speeches over here.

Here’s a bit of John Conyers’ Opening Statement for starters:

We face few issues more difficult, complex or important than separation of powers in general and excesses of the Executive Branch in particular. As our first great civil libertarian, Thomas Jefferson, wrote, “the greatest [calamity] which would befall [us would be] submission to a government of unlimited powers.”

[…]It is no secret that I have grave and serious concerns about excesses in executive branch authority. At my direction this Committee has spent a considerable portion of its time, energy and resources investigating allegations concerning the politicization of the Department of Justice; misuse of signing statements; misuse of authority with regard to detention, interrogation and rendition; possible manipulation of intelligence regarding the Iraq War; improper retaliation against critics of the Administration, including the outing of Valerie Plame; and excessive secrecy by the Administration including the misuse of various privileges and immunities. I believe the evidence on these matters is both credible and substantial and warrant the response of the executive branch, under oath if at all possible.


I believe it is in all of our interests to work together to rein in any excesses of the executive branch, whether it is in Democratic, Republican or even Libertarian hands. Whether it was the suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War, the Palmer Raids during World War I, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, or COINTELPRO during Vietnam, we know the executive branch overreaches during times of war. As one who was included on President Nixon’s enemies list, I am all to familiar with the specter of an unchecked executive branch, and the risks to our citizens’ rights are even more grave today as the war on terror has no specific end point.