Over at Obsidian Wings, commenter Sebastian (not ObWi poster Sebastian Holsclaw, but an entirely different Sebastian) made the following comment, which needs greater spreading-about because it is completely true. So:
Yoo is legal realism taken to its natural endpoint.
He illustrates exactly the worst of what is wrong with the profession in the US, but it isn’t correct to act as if he is an abberation in the profession or if his lawyering style is found only in Republicans. His methodology is exactly the same as Clinton’s in the Michigan issue.
Many lawyers think that the purpose of their craft is to push the law around to get whatever they/their clients want. The average person sees many lawyers as being willing to take perfectly clear concepts, throw dust in the air and choke us to death with the ‘confusion’. Yoo offers a particularly ugly case of a very normal behaviour in the legal profession.
So when you say ‘invented, whole cloth, justifications’ you are talking about what lots of lawyers do. They know that the general understanding of the law says one thing, and they create confusion to get the opposite result. They create the confusion and then point to it and call it ‘unsettled’.