Calabresi's conservative credentials are impeccable. A co-founder of the Federalist Society, he is the chairman of the organization's board of directors. He served in both the Reagan and first Bush administrations before joining the Northwestern faculty in 1990. He has since become one of the country's most influential Constitutional law scholars. His views concerning issues such as executive power and judicial restraint are generally in step with the Bush administration, but he also has been widely praised by liberals for his depth of knowledge and intellectual brilliance.
He is no doubt the most thoughtful scholarly proponent of the "unitary executive theory," having written many articles on the topic, including one often-cited piece in the Harvard Law Review. This theory of executive authority under the Constitution, which holds that Congress has no power to deprive the president of control over the execution of the laws, has been central to the Bush administration's definition of its own constitutional role.
No Bush appointee could be expected to depart from the unitary executive theory, but Calabresi understands it in a more sophisticated way -- as something other than an unrestrained grant of presidential power -- and is better able to recognize and explain constitutional limits than anyone now in the Justice Department.
Calabresi also would bring to the job unquestioned personal integrity. The Gonzales Justice Department appeared to exploit the power of prosecution for political gain; there is no possibility that Calabresi would repeat those errors. Today, trustworthiness is probably an even more important virtue than intellectual or political competence. Calabresi has all three virtues.
Calabresi for AG: