“Trump Supreme Court pick: Presidents can ignore laws they think are unconstitutional.”
Trump is disappointed.
He’s already considering dumping this guy and picking one who thinks Presidents can ignore ALL laws.
Kidding aside, now that I think about it, those two positions are exactly the same.
“Why did you ignore that law, Mr. President?”
“I thought it was unconstitutional.”
“But every legal scholar in America thinks it is legit, and it deals with powers specifically granted verbatim in the Constitution itself.”
“Doesn’t matter. I think it is unconstitutional, and therefore I can ignore it.”
5 thoughts on ““Trump Supreme Court pick: Presidents can ignore laws they think are unconstitutional.””
So, Republican, what did you think of McConnell holding up Merrick Garland’s nomination?
At the time I supported it. Later, after Trump had the nomination, since he could never win, I started thinking it was probably going to backfire, because HRC was likely to nominate someone to the left of Garland. Shows how little I know.
But I think you are asking was it legitimate to refuse to hold hearings or a vote on Garland? I think the answer there is clearly yes, if for no other reason than a large number of W’s appellate nominees who were denied hearings when the Democrats took back the Senate or who were denied up or down votes via filibuster before that. If you are going to respond by saying a Supreme Court nomination is more important than a nominee to a Court of Appeals, I’d say you are right…
The Constitution requires the affirmative consent for a nominee to take office, it says nothing about a right for a nominee to have a hearing or an up or down vote. The Constitution makes no distinction for Supreme Court nominees.
Does anyone actually believe that if Stephen Breyer had passed away in 2008, the Democrat controlled Senate would have voted on Bush’s nominee to replace Breyer? Chuck Schumer said they shouldn’t and Joe Biden said the same thing prior to the 1992 election. I’m not trying to say the Democrats are more hypocritical than Republicans, just at least equally so.
Realistically, if I had been a conservative in Mitch McConnell’s position, I would have done the same thing, and if I had been a liberal in the converse position, I would have ignored a conservative nominee.
Whether you like the result or not, McConnell simply made the smart play.
Of course, it may have destroyed the country from one perspective, but that is not McConnell’s perspective.
If you read the CNN article and watch the embedded video of Brett Kavanaugh discussing this issue he gives an example of a law that both George W. Bush and Barack Obama refused to follow. Congress had passed a law (I’m not sure what president signed it) requiring that U.S. passports list “Jerusalem, Israel” as the place of birth for people born in Jerusalem. Both presidents refused to follow the law because they believed the Constitution gave exclusive power to officially recognize a country to the president.
As Kavanaugh explained, anyone injured by a president’s refusal to follow a law he says is unconstitutional has a right to sue. In the above example the D.C. Circuit ended up agreeing the law was unconstitutional.
The Democrats are arguing that because Kavanaugh had a role in coordinating Bush’s signing statements when he was White House Staff Secretary, they should be allowed to review all the documents that passed through his office. As he was responsible for coordinating pretty much every document that passed through the White House, that would amount to millions of pages that would tell them nothing about Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy. What it would do is take many months to produce those documents and months to review them. They don’t expect to find anything relevant. What they want is to delay the confirmation hearings and vote till after the midterms when there is a chance they would retake the Senate.
As a Republican, all I can say is God bless Harry Reid!!!
Oh, I remember those signing statements. Many of them amounted to “I understand this law to mean the opposite of what it clearly says and I intend to act accordingly.” Of course this is relevant to evaluating the man’s judicial philosophy.
The biggest problem with Kavanaugh is that he thinks the president is elected to a four-year term as king.
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