Hillary Clinton Refuses To Pledge to Restore Constitutional Liberties

Hillary Clinton and John McCain are two presidential candidates who have something in common. The Nation reports that they have not signed a statement supporting “the restoration of basic Constitutional principles after the battering they have taken during the Bush-Cheney era.”

Every Democratic candidate except Hillary Clinton has supported this pledge during the campaign. Needless to say, the Republicans have not. The sole exception among the Republicans was Ron Paul who signed a similar statement from a conservative organization which also defended the Constitution. According to The Nation:

The effort to get presidential contenders to sign on the American Freedom Pledge has been promoted by organizations ranging from the Center for Constitutional Rights to Human Rights Watch, MoveOn.org , Amnesty International USA, the Brennan Center for Justice, the Campaign to Defend the Constitution, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and True Majority.

The pledge is anything but radical. It simply asks candidates to affirm a statement that reads: “We are Americans, and in our America we do not torture, we do not imprison people without charge or legal remedy, we do not tap people’s phones and emails without a court order, and above all we do not give any President unchecked power. I pledge to fight to protect and defend the Constitution from attack by any President.”

Most likely Hillary is holding out until the prohibition with regards to unchecked presidential power is rewritten to exclude her.

Update: Clinton’s refusal to sign t his pledge is consistent with previous information obtained on her views. A review of the candidates’ views on presidential power showed that Clinton “embraced a stronger view of a president’s power to use executive privilege to keep information secret from Congress than some rivals.” When I recently compared the views of Clinton and Obama, I noted Clinton’s tendency to support increased government power.


  1. 1
    MarjorieG says:

    Ouch, on the ending!

  2. 2
    Violet says:

    You may not have seen this before Ron but Joe Conason summarized her triangulation how she’ll handle restoring the constitutional limits of the office of the President, reversing the predations of the Bush/Cheney administration … or will she?

    … In an interview with Michael Tomasky, editor of the new Guardian America Web site, she comments forthrightly on some of those excesses and suggests that she will undo much of what her predecessors have wrought. Not only does Mrs. Clinton accuse George W. Bush and Dick Cheney of overweening conduct, but charges them with venturing far beyond their historically accepted authority.

    Asked what presidential powers she might relinquish or renegotiate with Congress, she avoids specifics and promises only to “review” those issues if elected. But the tenor of her response leaves little doubt about her position.

    Conason’s article is quite nice. I didn’t go digging for the original interview that he commented on but I’m sure it would provide more confirmation of her seemingly ‘Bush-like’ tendencies.

  3. 3
    Bostondreams says:

    Lovely. Good luck getting that past the Clintonistas. No real respect for liberal values. I fear for this country if McCain or Clinton are elected.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    The Boston Globe also interviewed the candidates on their views on presidential power. I’ll add a bit onto the post which links back to this.

  5. 5
    mbk says:

    This is EXACTLY the thing that worries me most about HRC.

  6. 6
    stillcool says:

    I’m not surprised anymore. Before this campaign season I had an entirely different view of her. The age of the internet woke me up about the policy’s of Bill, but I thought she was way more liberal minded than she has shown herself to me. In other words, she is a fraud.

  7. 7
    John W in NC says:

    I am beginning to think that not only is Clinton the least of the candidates, but also the most dangerous! I think she may be even more like a dictator than George W Bush! People should be running to the other candidates!

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