The Constitution does create a system of checks and balances over a president, but Congress has to implement them, writes Chris Edelson.
Donald Trump’s disdain for the rule of law, the idea that everyone is accountable to the law and no person, not even the president, can set aside the law or subordinate it to a political agenda.
Trump promised to bring back torture and order the killing of terrorists’ family members, at one point declaring that the military would have to carry out his orders even if they recognized it would mean violating criminal law. He threatened to turn federal law enforcement into a mechanism for settling political scores. He suggested that he would unilaterally decide when to order the use of military force, in defiance of the constitutional requirement that Congress approve military action unless the United States faces a sudden attack that leaves no time for legislative authorization. He presented himself as a “strong man” who would “deport more than 10 million people currently living in the United States, bar Muslims…from entering the country, shut down mosques, and perhaps set up a national database to track Muslims.”