OLC in the Gonzales Years:
The Thursday New York Times has this story on the role of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel under former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The whole thing is worth reading, but I was particularly interested in this judgment from Doug Kmiec:
Douglas W. Kmiec, who headed that office under President Ronald Reagan and the first President George Bush and wrote a book about it, said he believed the intense pressures of the campaign against terrorism have warped the office's proper role.Thanks to Marty Lederman for the link.
"The office was designed to insulate against any need to be an advocate," said Mr. Kmiec, now a conservative scholar at Pepperdine University law school. But at times in recent years, Mr. Kmiec said, the office, headed by William H. Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia before they served on the Supreme Court, "lost its ability to say no."
"The approach changed dramatically with opinions on the war on terror," Mr. Kmiec said. "The office became an advocate for the president's policies."