Congress has subpoenaed the executive branch to get documents related to U.S. attorney firing scandal, and the president has refused to give the documents over, claiming executive privilege (link).

I am not certain how I feel about the president’s claim of executive privilege or even about executive privilege in general, but I am very happy to see fighting words between the executive branch and the legislative branch back in the news. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt), of the Senate Judiciary committee, has harsh words for the executive branch: “This is a further shift by the Bush administration into Nixonian stonewalling and more evidence of their disdain for our system of checks and balances”, and Tony Snow, the whitehouse press secretary, responds with equally harsh language: “[the subpoenas] may explain why this is the least popular Congress in decades, because you do have what appears to be a strategy of destruction rather than cooperation.”

When the different branches of the government fight each other, they help keep any one branch from gaining too much authority. I am happy congress is trying to exert some ‘check’ on the executive branch again.