by Jon Guze
Senior Fellow, Legal Studies, John Locke Foundation
Legal scholar John McGinnis ends a generally negative discussion of recent confirmation hearings on a postive note:
In the House Armed Service Committee’s hearing on the waiver for General Mattis to be Secretary of Defense, for instance, one Democratic member after another said that the Trump’s administration decision to block him from appearing at the hearing forced them to vote no. One Republican after another said that only a bipartisan vote in favor of the waiver would send the right message to the troops. But in the middle of this rhetorical desert, Congressman Steve Russell of Nebraska challenged the premises of the law from which the waiver was sought in a sprightly and informative speech. There he argued that the Constitution did not require any cooling off period before a general could serve in government, and then provided a lively tour of American history of the many ex-generals who soon served either as President and as Secretary of War, beginning of course with George Washington and his own secretary of War, Henry Knox. Congressman Russell is a freshman. May he never imitate his elders!