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How Would the Supreme Court Rule on Obama Raising the Debt Ceiling Himself?
The New Republic ^ | July 29, 2011 | Jeff Rosen

Posted on 07/30/2011 1:45:56 PM PDT by SteveH

“I’ve talked to my lawyers,” President Obama said in explaining his dismissal of the argument that Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment authorizes him to raise the debt ceiling if Congress fails to act. “They are not persuaded that that is a winning argument.” But who are President Obama’s cowering lawyers, and why would the former constitutional law professor defer to their overly cautious prediction that the Supreme Court would rule against Obama if asked to adjudicate a dispute between the president and Congress? In fact, it’s far more likely that the Court would refuse to hear the case. And even if the justices did agree to hear it, the conservative justices would be torn between their dislike of Obama and their commitment to expanding executive power at all costs. If all the justices are true to their constitutional philosophies, the Court would rule for Obama by a lopsided margin.

As Matthew Zeitlin has argued in TNR, if Obama invoked the Fourteenth Amendment to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally, the most likely outcome is that the Supreme Court would refuse to hear the case. [...]

When it comes to individual taxpayers, they’re likely barred from establishing standing to sue by the definitive precedent on the debt clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the 1935 Perry case.

(Excerpt) Read more at tnr.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 14thamendment; debtceiling; debtdeal
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http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/90659/debt-ceiling-obama-congress

The Debt Ceiling: Why Obama Should Just Ignore It

Matthew Zeitlin

June 24, 2011

12:00 am

[I wonder if these people actually procreate and have children...]

1 posted on 07/30/2011 1:45:59 PM PDT by SteveH
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To: SteveH

Hell! It would take 2 years to get to them, then whoever filed the suit would be ruled to not have standing. Those guys are a POS too.


2 posted on 07/30/2011 1:47:54 PM PDT by Roklok
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To: SteveH

It would be a sure road to impeachment.


3 posted on 07/30/2011 1:49:07 PM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: SteveH

My biggest question is how do you get anyone to buy the debt? All it would take is for one Congressman to file a suit against the Treasury and 0bama and no buyer would ever dare put their money at risk.


4 posted on 07/30/2011 1:50:08 PM PDT by Truth is a Weapon (Truth, it hurts so good.)
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To: SteveH

Whichever way they would rule, it would be 5-4.

The entire Pustule on the Potomac needs to lanced, drained, and cauterized.


5 posted on 07/30/2011 1:52:42 PM PDT by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans: Don't read their lips - watch their hands.)
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To: Don Corleone

Go Ahead Make My day. He would then own the whole Mess! No One to Blame but Himself when the Downgrade comes,so go ahead Bumbo do it.


6 posted on 07/30/2011 1:54:09 PM PDT by ballplayer
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To: SteveH

What does the 14 Amendment have to do with Obama?


7 posted on 07/30/2011 1:55:33 PM PDT by WHBates
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To: SteveH

Another question: if he did, how would it affect him politically.

“Government spending is out of control and have overspent the budget and he just wrote them a blank check.”


8 posted on 07/30/2011 1:57:09 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: SteveH

Easy question, easy answer.

The Supreme Court would rule 5-4 against obama. The same 4 who tried to rule that the 2nd Amendment did not, in fact, even exist would rule that sec. 4 of Amendment 14 has totally different meaning from what is plainly written.


9 posted on 07/30/2011 1:57:22 PM PDT by San Jacinto
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To: SteveH

Gee, didn’t the bit O teach constitutional law in Chicago?? He can’t figure this out for himself??? I believe if he tries this, he oversteps his bounds. And I’m just a little ol’ housewife and I can figure that one out!!


10 posted on 07/30/2011 1:57:55 PM PDT by hstacey (Army Mom...)
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To: SteveH

Miss Rosen seems to be another disillusioned Obama drone.


11 posted on 07/30/2011 1:58:33 PM PDT by clintonh8r (Happy to be represented by Lt. Col. Allen West (this tagline under review))
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To: Roklok

The SCOTUS, FBI, CIA, NSA, etc. are in on the TREASON, they haven’t done a thing to stop it, what mekes you think they will now? Wake up peons.


12 posted on 07/30/2011 2:00:04 PM PDT by Waco (Nominate Palin or forget 2012 you lost)
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To: Psalm 144
Pustule on the Potomac

ROTFLMAO

13 posted on 07/30/2011 2:00:56 PM PDT by Aevery_Freeman (White Hetero Able Male (WHAM) a.k.a. NOT Holder's people)
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To: San Jacinto

And His Majesty’s comment would be: How many divisions does the supreme court have?


14 posted on 07/30/2011 2:01:45 PM PDT by Mouton (Voting is an opiate of the electorate. Nothing changes no matter who wins..)
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To: SteveH

Illegal. There is no way that language could be stretched to do what he wants. And he doesn’t need to do it anyway. There is more than enough money to pay the debt.


15 posted on 07/30/2011 2:04:56 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: WHBates

“What does the 14 Amendment have to do with Obama?”

14th amendment makes him more equal than the rest of us.

I am appalled at all the idiots in Congress who actually believe that its ok for the president to become dictator.

Not only ok, but constitutional !


16 posted on 07/30/2011 2:07:18 PM PDT by A'elian' nation (Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. Jacques Barzun)
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To: SteveH

The “debt” crisis is just a warm-up for the constitutional crisis our traitor-in-chief is stewing up.

What constitution? According to Obama, it’s an outdated, flawed document written by a bunch of bigoted, rich, old white men for times past, and places no real restrictions on today’s modern progressive government.


17 posted on 07/30/2011 2:07:23 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (Rebellion is brewing!! Impeach the corrupt Marxist bastard!!)
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To: Mouton
How many divisions does the supreme court have?

How many can be made up of the nation's 80,000,000 guns owners, armed with around 300,000,000 guns?

George Mason: "Who are the militia? They consist of the whole people, except a few public officers."

Noah Webster: "The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops."

18 posted on 07/30/2011 2:09:08 PM PDT by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: Roklok
Hell! It would take 2 years to get to them, then whoever filed the suit would be ruled to not have standing.

Yep. No spine there either. We are being CONTROLLED by three branches of elitist snobs which think they all are better than "We The People". They believe that we are their subjects to be dictated too.

19 posted on 07/30/2011 2:11:00 PM PDT by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: hstacey

Gee, didn’t the bit O teach constitutional law in Chicago??

***************************************

“Con Law”, as it is so appropriately named in the syllabus of all U.S. law schools, is a review of the historical means and techniques to circumvent, dismember, or remove the context of Constitutional excerpts. It is not a presentation of the Constitution as an organic whole or its plain meaning on its face. When the true exposition of the Constitution was given up entirely I do not know, but the corruption of it began in 1803.

The Declaration of Independence is not mentioned at all, except with dismissal or in whispers.


20 posted on 07/30/2011 2:11:27 PM PDT by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans: Don't read their lips - watch their hands.)
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To: WHBates

Section 4.
“What does the 14 Amendment have to do with Obama?”

Section 4 of the 14th Amendment:
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.


21 posted on 07/30/2011 2:15:23 PM PDT by jh4freedom
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To: SteveH
Yesterday evening, I was listening to the NPR station on the car radio. The NPR host asked a liberal Democrat Congress-critter why Obama didn't just use "the 14th Amendment option" as if that had always been an arrow in the Presidential quiver.

The Democrat Congress-critter replied that the 14th Amendment move would be "an option" but "not preferable".

So, both the liberal NPR host and the Congress-critter were shaping the battlefield to try to convince the public that something buried in the fine print of the 14th Amendment gives POTUS the power of the purse specifically delegated to Congress by the Constitution.

So, let's read what the 14th Amendment has to say about the public debt:

14th Amendment, Section 4: The validity of the public debt of the United States, AUTHORIZED BY LAW, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

In short, that means that the UNION debt "authorized by law" in accordance with the Constitution "shall not be questioned" but the CONFEDERATE debt UNAUTHORIZED by law in accordance with the Constitution was "illegal and void".

There is absolutely no question that any debt, up to the current debt ceiling, shall not be questioned and is legal.

However, the entire point of the debt debate is to have any debt above that ceiling , "authorized by law".

Any debt, above and beyond the current authorized debt ceiling, would be, by definition UNAUTHORIZED by law and, as per the clear meaning of the 14th Amendment, would be illegal.

If Obama tries to pervert the clear meaning of the 14th Amendment and usurps the power of the purse from Congress, he would be committing an impeachable offense.

Congress does not need SCOTUS to settle the matter. Congress just needs the political courage to impeach Obama for clearly violating one the most basic principles of the Separation of Powers under the U.S. Constituion, namely, Congress controls the purse.

Once a U.S. President takes upon himself both the power of the purse and the power of enforcement, he has declared himself to be a Dictator with even more power than a Roman Republican Dictator that was Dictator only by the express authorization of the Roman Senate.

If, however, Congress shows the backbone of a chocolate eclair, SCOTUS may reason that Congress authorized the Obama's action simply by Congress' inaction.

22 posted on 07/30/2011 2:17:49 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: SteveH
The whole idea of calling it a "Debt Ceiling" is a joke....how many times has it been raised?

Why not just call it a Hugh Hefner Ceiling...or just get rid of it.

23 posted on 07/30/2011 2:19:39 PM PDT by RckyRaCoCo (I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery, IXNAY THE TSA!)
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To: SteveH

If Barry wants civil war, he’ll try raising the debt ceiling himself.

Time to reign in the Imperial Executive.


24 posted on 07/30/2011 2:20:04 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Waco
The SCOTUS, FBI, CIA, NSA, etc. are in on the TREASON, they haven’t done a thing to stop it, what mekes you think they will now? Wake up peons.

Right On! The most corrupt democracy is plainly on display.

25 posted on 07/30/2011 2:20:13 PM PDT by Digger (T)
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To: El Gato

That average guns per person is a bit low concerning me!


26 posted on 07/30/2011 2:21:21 PM PDT by Mouton (Voting is an opiate of the electorate. Nothing changes no matter who wins..)
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To: jh4freedom

Key words there are “authorized by law” The President is not a lawmaker, Congress is!!!!!!!!

Therefore, he cannot act unilaterally...


27 posted on 07/30/2011 2:25:40 PM PDT by neverbluffer
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To: Jim Robinson

“The “debt” crisis is just a warm-up for the constitutional crisis our traitor-in-chief is stewing up.”

Got that right. We must assume that a rabid cornered animal will do what comes naturally.


28 posted on 07/30/2011 2:27:06 PM PDT by thouworm (.)
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To: A'elian' nation; WHBates
“What does the 14 Amendment have to do with Obama?”... WHBates

14th amendment makes him more equal than the rest of us. I am appalled at all the idiots in Congress who actually believe that its ok for the president to become dictator. Not only ok, but constitutional ! .... A'elian' nation

Obama and the Democrats are trying to pervert the clear language of the 14th Amendment.

See Post 22.

29 posted on 07/30/2011 2:27:26 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: SteveH

As with everything concerning the usurper, the Supremes would “evade” it.


30 posted on 07/30/2011 2:30:54 PM PDT by bgill
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To: SteveH

Acknowledging the debt to be valid is not the same thing as giving the Executive carte blanche to spend as much money as it wants.


31 posted on 07/30/2011 2:39:48 PM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: Don Corleone
It would be a sure road to impeachment.

He**, Obama should be impeached for scaring the American public as he has done about Social Security and Medicare payments. There are many seniors whose health cannot take such worry. The president is not elected to frighten the public. Whatever else bad he has done, this is the worst. This tactic is childish, sophomoric, early campaign terrorism. It is way out of place coming from the Oval Office.

Obama has not led people to feel confident about anything, but has, rather frightened his countrymen. This is a terrible legacy he now owns, no matter how the current issue on the debt ceiling gets resolved.

History will record him as an enemy to the people's faith and peace of mind during this trying time. He has hurt millions with his innacurate accusations and fear mongering speeches. He is an evil, spiteful, vengeful little man who has no comprehension of what his role is in the White House. He has let his thin skin and need to massage his ego take precedence over the welfare of the people he is supposed to protect and reassure during times of trial. What an utter travesty he has committed.

There is no place in the White House for a man who purposely hurts his people.

32 posted on 07/30/2011 2:40:55 PM PDT by CitizenM (He who is silent is understood to consent)
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To: SteveH

If the Supreme Court were to rule on the right question, Joe Biden would be President.


33 posted on 07/30/2011 2:44:48 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: SteveH

IMPEACHMENT and assured as a ONE TERM POS, errrr, POTUS. =.=


34 posted on 07/30/2011 2:50:01 PM PDT by cranked
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To: SteveH

How is it that idiots continue to ignore Section 5 of the 14th Amendment?!

“Section 5.

The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

Morons....=.=


35 posted on 07/30/2011 2:52:11 PM PDT by cranked
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To: WHBates
Section 4 related to payment of public debt after the civil war, requiring the honoring of debts incurred by the Union and prohibiting payment of debts incurred by the Confederacy. Any judicial entity who would use this as justification for obama to usurp clear legislative prerogatives and powers in a totally unrelated context would instantly risk being impeached herself and brought to justice.

These gibbering shysters like Rosen, are merely enjoying their obama masturbation fantasies about how the scotus would vote.

36 posted on 07/30/2011 3:08:48 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: SteveH
It's okay. No one has standing to challenge him.

ML/NJ

37 posted on 07/30/2011 3:13:04 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: Psalm 144
I assume con law as you call it is a low prestige and low priority subject, probably because there isn't a lot of money in it. After all, not only did they fob it off on the dullwitted obama, they did the same at Arkansas with billyboy jerkwater. He's the guy who thinks "of the people by the people and for the people" is part of the constitution. Really.
38 posted on 07/30/2011 3:14:04 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: SteveH
On a matter which came to the attention of James Madison, he wrote in a letter to James Monroe:

The Writings of James Madison - Vol. 6 (Gaillard Hunt, Ed.):

"To consider a principle, we must try its nature, and see how far it will go: in the present case, he considered the effects of the principle contended for would be pernicious. If we advert to the nature of Republican Government, we shall find that the censorial power is in the people over the Government, and not in the Government over the people."

At this critical time in the history of the Republic, created "crises" must not be allowed to bring about unconstitutional assumptions of power which threaten liberty for future generations.

See the following concluding paragraphs of an essay entitled, "Do We Have a Living Constitution?":

"Those who would use "convenience" or "frustration" as reason, or who insist that it lies within the powers of the Court (or the Congress or the Executive) to effect constitutional change, can be charged with a lack of respect for the principles on which, as Marshall wisely observed: "the whole American fabric has been erected."

"We are told that it is unreasonable - even foolish - to expect that the Framers could have written a Constitution suitable alike for a society of husbandman and a society of multinational corporations, to say nothing of one as well adapted to the age of the musket and sailing ship as to the age of intercontinental nuclear-tipped missiles. As the problems have changed, the argument goes, so must the manner in which they are confronted and solved, and the Constitution cannot be allowed to stand in the way. Indeed, there is no reason to allow it to stand in the way, we are told, because the Framers intended it to be flexible. And we are told that John Marshall would support this position. But it was Marshall, in McCulloch v. Maryland, who stated: "Throughout this vast republic, from the St. Croix to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, revenue is to be collected and expended, armies are to be marched and supported." The United States, in this view was not intended to be a simple society of husbandmen, and Marshall Clearly saw that the Constitution empowered Congress to do what was required to meet the crises of the Republic, and to maintain the Constitutional structure intended by the Framers, changing it only when such change would be in keeping with the structure itself.

"That the American Constitution is long-lived, has enduring qualities, and was intended for the ages cannot be doubted. That it was founded on enduring principles, and that it was based on the authority of a people who are sovereign has been attested to by many of its leaders. That it can be changed when, and if, the people ordain such change is a part of its own provisions. For these reasons, it can be said to be a "Living Constitution" - but let that not be claimed by those who would use the language to subvert the structure.

Our Ageless Constitution - Part VII (1987, reprinted 2008) (Publisher: W. David Stedman Associates; W. D. Stedman & La Vaughn G. Lewis, Eds.) ISBN 0-937047-01-5       (Essay adapted by Editors for publication in this Volume in consultation with Dr. Walter Berns from Berns' article by the same title in National Forum, The Phi Kappa Phi Journal, Fall 1984)

39 posted on 07/30/2011 3:23:48 PM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: jh4freedom
Yes but:

"Section 5. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

The President has no authority without congress enabling him to do so.

40 posted on 07/30/2011 3:24:04 PM PDT by WHBates
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To: El Gato

Not questioning the presence of an armed populace. However, do I understand that you are ready to hide behind trees and kill American soldiers who are obeying orders from the CIC to put down what will be presented as an illegal insurrection?

Details, I know. But I do wonder when it’s bad enough for that to happen.


41 posted on 07/30/2011 3:25:29 PM PDT by Chaguito
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To: jh4freedom
That's what Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment says. Notice that it does not say anything about enforcement. That's where Section 5 comes in. It says, "The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."

Nowhere does any amendment to the Constitution override Article II, Section 8, which provides,
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; . . . To borrow Money on the credit of the United States.
Those roles are pretty clearly within the sole authority of the Congress. A debt limit abrogation by the President would be to borrow additional money on the credit of the United States, authority to do which Article II does not grant Him and which the Fourteenth Amendment does not grant Him either.

The problem is that although the President has no authority to override the Constitution (just as Willie Sutton had no authority to rob banks) He has the power to do so (just as Willie Sutton did) until the Supreme Court catches up with Him. In this case, it is doubtful that it would ever do so because it would be very difficult to show "standing" to sue. And, even were that managed, it would take years for a case to wend its way through a district court, an appellate court and, just maybe, get to the Supreme Court. Should it eventually get there, the Supreme Court might well conclude that the question is a political one, not for it to decide.

I very much hope He doesn't do it. However, if He does, it will be very difficult to claim that everything bad that happens is the fault of the "obstructionist" Republicans. That's the only possible good I can see coming from it, but it could be very useful come next year.
42 posted on 07/30/2011 3:25:29 PM PDT by DanMiller (Dan Miller)
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To: jh4freedom
Yes but:

"Section 5. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

The President has no authority without congress enabling him to do so.

43 posted on 07/30/2011 3:27:57 PM PDT by WHBates
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To: San Jacinto

Honduras was practice for just such a situation.


44 posted on 07/30/2011 3:31:22 PM PDT by itsahoot (--I will vote for Sarah Palin, even if I have to write her in. --He that hath an ear, let him hear.)
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To: hinckley buzzard

“I assume con law as you call it is a low prestige and low priority subject, probably because there isn’t a lot of money in it.”

Not at all! I am sorry I gave the impression. One year of it is mandatory in all the schools I know of, and it really is the key to the kingdom. The -Constitution- is largely irrelevant, but the manipulation and evasion of its restrictions are of paramount importance to many.


45 posted on 07/30/2011 3:39:51 PM PDT by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans: Don't read their lips - watch their hands.)
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To: Psalm 144

“Whichever way they would rule, it would be 5-4. The entire Pustule on the Potomac needs to lanced, drained, and cauterized.”

True. Gross visual. Thanks.


46 posted on 07/30/2011 3:40:50 PM PDT by KingLudd
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To: Secret Agent Man

{Time to reign in the Imperial Executive}

About two hundred years late, I am afraid. I hold out faint hope that the American people even want to be American anymore. We have our corporations bought up by foreign interests, or at least they have large chunk of them.

Henry Kissinger suggested to the Shaw, that he could just raise the price of oil to finance his arms buildup, and the rest is history. I see little difference in Henry and Soros. God help us all.


47 posted on 07/30/2011 3:41:54 PM PDT by itsahoot (--I will vote for Sarah Palin, even if I have to write her in. --He that hath an ear, let him hear.)
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To: SteveH

Does obama have “standing”?


48 posted on 07/30/2011 3:43:43 PM PDT by CanaGuy (Go Harper! We gave you a majority, now get busy!)
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To: SteveH
The phrase "authorized by law" makes this a non-starter.

Congress is the ONLY branch authorized to pass laws - the President only signs them so they are enacted.

The President CANNOT unilaterally enact a measure on his own - CLEARLY unconstitutional.

The CURRENT debt limit is the ONLY one CURRENTLY authorized by law - without a NEW debt ceiling [authorized by Congress], the President can do NOTHING ...

49 posted on 07/30/2011 3:44:13 PM PDT by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: cranked

They ignore Section 5 because the liberal view is that Obama should take the power on himself, because it’s being done in support of a liberal cause. It would be done to go around those pesky Tea Party Republicans in Congress who won’t cooperate with Obama and Democrats. The Tea Party Republicans are thought of as a nuisance by good Democrats, not as equals in the Congress.

This sounds tongue in cheek, but it’s true that the liberal view is that the Constitution can be ignored or words twisted as long as it’s done to support the liberal side of the issue of the day.


50 posted on 07/30/2011 3:44:48 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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