Obama to Bush: I Can Release Your Records. Don't Like It? Sue.Obama's executive order not only revokes "Bush's infamous Executive Order 13233, which gave current and former presidents and vice presidents, along with their heirs, unprecedented authority to block the disclosure of White House records," but also redefines executive privilege with a much more rigorous standard:
On his first day in office, President Obama put former president Bush on notice. His administration just released an executive order that will make it difficult for Bush to shield his White House records--and those of former Vice President Dick Cheney--from public scrutiny by invoking the doctrine of executive privilege.
..."[Obama]'s putting former presidents on notice that if you want to continue a claim of executive privilege that [Obama] doesn't think is well-placed, you're going to have to go to court," says Anne Weismann, the chief counsel for Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW).
This order ends the practice of having others besides the President assert executive privilege for records after an administration ends. Now, only the President will have that power, limiting its potential for abuse. And the order also requires the Attorney General and the White House Counsel to review claims of executive privilege about covered records to make sure those claims are fully warranted by the Constitution.Effectively, that gives Obama the right to tell Bush to shove it if the new administration doesn't agree with the Bush administration's assessment that something should be protected by executive privilege, leaving the erstwhile White House crooks with the singular option of suing to prevent the release of the archives.
Now that is some change I can believe in.
[H/T to Shaker Vicster.]