John Yoo on Andrew Jackson

John Yoo, author of some of the notorious torture papers, just published “Andrew Jackson and Presidential Power” in the Charleston Law Review. I guess it’s not surprising that a scholar with a such robust view of  Executive power would try to resurrect Jackson. Here’s an excerpt concerning Worcester v. Georgia:

Although Jackson did nothing to support the Court’s constitutional powers, he acted to defuse the political crisis. Rather than defy the Supreme Court outright, the Georgia courts simply refused to acknowledge the Supreme Court’s decision. Without any formal acceptance or rejection of Worcester by the state courts, the Supreme Court had no formal legal authority to order Georgia to obey the decision.  Even if Georgia had openly refused to obey Worcester, the Supreme Court recessed for nine months and was unable to reverse the State’s decisions. Jackson commented that “the decision of the supreme court has fell still born, and they find they cannot coerce Georgia to yield to its mandate.” The confrontation, however, generated political trouble for the Administration. Newspapers widely reprinted Worcester, which served as ammunition to attack Jackson in his soon-approaching re-election campaign. Jackson and Van Buren worked through the party machinery to convince the Governor of Georgia to commute the sentences in exchange for the missionaries’ agreement not to seek further Court review. Indian issues would figure in the election of 1832, and Jackson would take his overwhelming re-election as a validation of his Indian removal policy.

Even though this paragraph seems internally inconsistent, it appears to be a more nuanced view of the Worcester crisis for Jackson.