The Attorney General's Lawyer: Inside the Meese Justice Department

By Douglas W. Kmiec | Go to book overview

Constitution's original understanding as a color-blind document that respected the textual limits of national authority and understood the importance of federalism.

In making these claims, Ed Meese was challenging the established legal fraternity head-on. For this, he would be chastised by legal academics, vilified by the press, and ultimately hounded into a marginally early resignation. My service in OLC largely coincided with that of Attorney General Edwin Meese. These pages are about the legal thinking that he inspired. In the vernacular of the time, these pages are about a Department of Justice where "ideas had consequences." In recording them, it is hoped that they may again one day.

Before beginning, a brief word about sources. I have largely relied upon personal recollection, and where events preceded or followed my tenure, library and interview research. To verify facts and dates, I have consulted my unclassified chronological files and personal notes, being careful not to quote any material about events that have not yet become public or that might in any way disadvantage the current legal positions of my former client, the United States. Throughout, I have striven to make any criticism--of person or event--constructive and any praise objective.

I acknowledge the help and encouragement of many, especially my wife, Carolyn, and our five children who cheerfully kept tabs on their father's writing progress. The research assistance of the Notre Dame Law Library, particularly librarians Dwight King and Carmella Kinslow, and law students, Elena Baca and Martin Heli, was most welcome. The secretarial patience of Corinne Karlin and Darlene Carlson could not be exhausted. Finally, I here publicly acknowledge the legal achievements, integrity, and dedication of the lawyers and staff of OLC during my tenure.


NOTE
1.
Huston, The Department of Justice 60 ( Praeger 1967).

-3-

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The Attorney General's Lawyer: Inside the Meese Justice Department
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Note 3
  • Part I - Beginnings 5
  • 1 - Surmounting the Independent Counsel 7
  • Notes 16
  • 2 - In Search of Original Intent 17
  • 3 - The Unitary Executive 47
  • Notes 65
  • Part II - The Essence 69
  • 4 - Family: Abortion, Aids, Pornography, and School Choice 71
  • Notes 106
  • 5 - Work: Securing Economic Liberty 111
  • Notes 129
  • 6 - Neighborhood: The Revival of Federalism 132
  • 7 - Peace: The Color-Blind Society 152
  • Notes 175
  • 8 - Freedom: Iran-Contra and the Criminalization of the Separation of Powers 179
  • Notes 188
  • Part III - The Finale 191
  • 9 - Ethics, Give Us More Ethics 193
  • Notes 214
  • Epilogue 219
  • Notes 220
  • Selected Bibliography 221
  • Index 225
  • About the Author 235
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