During the complex debate two years ago over whether President George W. Bush had acted illegally in authorizing a secret domestic-wiretapping program, Mr. S was sitting in his office at the Xxxxx Xxxxx law school when the telephone rang. It was ________. “I never hear from xxx on things we agree about,” he notes. In a blog posting a few days before, S had argued that the President might have had a legitimate legal basis for his action. _______ was skeptical.

S contended that the law authorizing military force in Iraq might have given Bush room to create the program; ________ countered that such a move was ruled out by the FISA law, which made no such provisions for an extralegal runaround. S maintained that the Constitution’s Commander-in-Chief powers probably helped Bush clear that bar; _______ responded that the Supreme Court had not recognized such authority. On and on it went. “I tried not to waste xxx time,” says S, “but xxx kept wanting to talk.”

S … concluded that ________ wanted an interlocutor on hard cases, someone to help xxx chew through the pros and cons before xxx took a position. “Xxx decision-making process,” S says, “requires xxx to see the other side’s arguments in a sympathetic light so xxx can say, ‘I disagree, but I understand the opposing view.'”