Checks and balances on a president exist — if Congress is willing to use them – MarketWatch

The Constitution does create a system of checks and balances over a president, but Congress has to implement them, writes Chris Edelson.

Source: Checks and balances on a president exist — if Congress is willing to use them – MarketWatch

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.”

Even members of Trump’s own party recognized that Trump’s rhetoric suggested his presidency could threaten the rule of law.

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One thought on “Checks and balances on a president exist — if Congress is willing to use them – MarketWatch

  1. Hi, Here is another quote from this article: The Constitution does create a system of checks and balances designed to prevent a concentration of power in the hands of any one person or branch of government. Congress has significant powers available to it, especially when it comes to national security—including the power to declare war, ratify treaties, regulate trade with foreign countries, define violations of international law, and raise and support armies and navies. On paper, presidents have very little room to act unilaterally in the name of national security, at least outside of the emergency context.

    But these constitutional safeguards are not self-executing. They depend on members of each branch of government holding the other branches accountable and setting limits on power.

    Congress is best positioned to act as a check on presidential national security power, in large part because of its own constitutional sources of power in this area. In practice, however, Congress has often abdicated its constitutional responsibility to set limits on presidential power, passively deferring to presidents who push past constitutional boundaries.

    Thanks. God Bless.

    Aaron

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