What happens when one branch of the government exceeds its authority?

Discussion in 'Political Opinions & Beliefs' started by Lee Atwater, Jul 5, 2022.

  1. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Donor

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    What is supposed to happen, in the theory of a government comprised of three co-equal branches, is one or more of the other branches rein it in. Like this........

    Appeals court rules funding for Trump border wall construction 'unlawful'
    The Trump administration can't use money that Congress appropriated for military projects to build the wall, the appeals court ruled.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/do...mp-border-wall-construction-unlawful-n1232287

    The executive branch "lacked independent constitutional authority to authorize the transfer of funds," the ruling said. "These funds were appropriated for other purposes, and the transfer amounted to 'drawing funds from the Treasury without authorization by statute and thus violating the Appropriations Clause.' Therefore, the transfer of funds here was unlawful."

    Wait.......that was not the final say on the matter.

    Supreme Court sides with Trump on building border wall with diverted military funds

    The Supreme Court has allowed President Trump to defy Congress and continue to spend more than $6 billion diverted from military funds to pay for the construction of a border wall in parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California.
    https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-07-31/supreme-court-trump-border-wall-construction

    In this case, the executive branch exceeded its authority under the Constitution, but was enabled in doing so by the Court.

    Early last year, Trump demanded $5.7 billion for the border wall, but the House of Representatives, under Democratic control, refused, triggering a partial government shutdown that lasted 35 days. The impasse ended when Trump signed a new spending bill that did not include the border wall funding he sought.

    But a day later, he declared a national emergency and ordered the Pentagon to transfer $2.5 billion to pay for border wall projects. The administration said the new barriers, extending up to 130 miles, were designed to prevent “drug smuggling.” Later, Trump ordered the transfer of another $3.6 billion for new border barriers in Texas.

    The Constitution says, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in Consequence of Appropriations made by law.” In Trump’s defense, administration lawyers cited a provision in law that authorized the transfer of military funds in emergencies. However, as lower-court judges pointed out, the law says these transfers must be “based on unforeseen military requirements ... and in no case where the item for which funds are requested has been denied by the Congress.”

    The Court's power to make a ruling in support of an unconstitutional act is unchecked. Having won twice in lower courts, Congress had no further recourse once the Court ruled on Don's misuse of the emergency powers granted to the executive branch.

    Begging the question, can the power the Court's conservative super majority wields be held in check? Can something be done when the Court is no longer bound by precedent, the Constitution, public safety, or the people's will? How is the concept of 3 co-equal branches enforced?

    Make no mistake. The same question applies for a liberal super majority if it similarly runs afoul with juris prudence and the majority of Americans through their elected representatives. The Court has often been the final arbiter in conflicts between the legislative and executive branches. Guided, in theory, by the Constitution. What happens when ideology supersedes the guidance offered by that hallowed document?
     
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  2. fmw

    fmw Well-Known Member

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    Courts make mistakes, even the supreme court. When lower courts make a mistake, the higher courts are supposed to correct them. The problem is that politics gets in the way of everything government does.
     
  3. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Donor

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    Your answer to the question of how to rein in unchecked judicial power in a government based on checks and balances is "courts make mistakes?"
     
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  4. fmw

    fmw Well-Known Member

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    No I agree with your post except for expecting that branches of government will correct problems with the other branches.
     
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  5. ToughTalk

    ToughTalk Well-Known Member

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    We end up with racist policies like equity and the like. And suddenly we can't define simple terms like "woman"

    That's what happens.

    We have to ride it out and vote in better people to those positions I suppose.
     
  6. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Donor

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    But there are many examples of the legislative branch checking executive power. And vice versa. That concept was based on the Court acting as a neutral arbiter. Something that is no longer the case. Are there tools at the disposal of the people to counter a rogue Court?
     
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  7. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Donor

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    Sounds like an oxymoron.
     
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  8. ToughTalk

    ToughTalk Well-Known Member

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    Ya, I know. That's how they package it. Under the guise of niceness. It's what makes it more sinister and vile.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
  9. David Landbrecht

    David Landbrecht Well-Known Member

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    The serious question is, "What happens when one branch abdicates its responsibilities and confines itself to keeping a group in power?"
     
  10. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Donor

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    Like the SC stepping away from ruling on gerrymandering?
     
  11. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    So you must agree with the supreme Court's recent ruling that these agencies such as the EPA cannot just make their own laws and regulations without going through Congress?
     
  12. fmw

    fmw Well-Known Member

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    Like I said, I agree with you. But what should be is not necessarily as it is.
     
  13. fmw

    fmw Well-Known Member

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    The term equity, which is the opposite of equality, is racist but not effectively so. The nation was founded on the concept of equality which means government should treat everyone the same regardless of who or how they are. Equity seeks to do special things for chosen minorities to improve the lot in life for which they are responsible personally instead. The founders wanted equality. Modern federal government supports the opposite. It is racist but much of what government does is racist. It isn't a serious problem. Better to worry about open borders and government overspending. Fixing those will help everybody.
     
  14. PPark66

    PPark66 Well-Known Member

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    The historical answer is the Court is either expanded or contracted. We’ve been here multiple times. IMO I don’t believe the threat of expanding it will moderate this one. So we’ll need to try something different.

    I do find it odd that the fear mongering of an activist court lead us to an activist court. The norms of creating the court have been trashed so it would serve us to look at process.

    It’s clear this minority of a minority set-up won’t serve us well so we better get to work.
     
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  15. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Donor

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    Ever hear of the Clear Skies Act.

    The Clear Skies Act:

    • Establishes federally enforceable emissions limits (or "caps") for all three pollutants. Clear Skies' NOx and SO2 requirements affect all fossil fuel-fired electric generators greater than 25 megawatts (MW) that sell electricity. Mercury requirements affect only the subset of these units that are coal-fired.
    https://archive.epa.gov/clearskies/web/html/fact2003.html
     
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  16. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Donor

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    That was classic Orwell. And Rove too. Turn truth on its head by accusing your opponent of exactly what you are doing.
     
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  17. Hey Now

    Hey Now Well-Known Member

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    Classic Russian active measures and Heir Goebbels MO. Very successful on 30% of the pop and that's all that's needed if they are radicalized.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
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  18. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Donor

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    What if something truly sinister is in the works? Namely, a system by which cases are funneled to the SC's Republicans by Repub groups. Cases so outlandish the Court has no business hearing them, but they do anyway as part of a political agenda allowing the minority to seize control of government (more than it already has).

    A new Supreme Court case is the biggest threat to US democracy since January 6

    The Supreme Court’s announcement on Thursday that it will hear Moore v. Harper, a case that could concentrate an unprecedented amount of power in gerrymandered state legislatures, should alarm anyone who cares about democracy.

    The case is perhaps the gravest threat to American democracy since the January 6 attack. It seeks to reinstate gerrymandered congressional maps that were struck down by North Carolina’s highest court because they “subordinated traditional neutral redistricting criteria in favor of extreme partisan advantage” for the Republican Party.

    The plaintiffs argue that the state supreme court didn’t have the authority to strike down these maps, and rest their claim on legal arguments that would fundamentally alter how congressional and presidential elections are conducted.

    https://www.vox.com/23161254/supreme-court-threat-democracy-january-6
     
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  19. Hey Now

    Hey Now Well-Known Member

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    Well, let's say that this has crossed my mind and if it is so, the plans is already near the END not the beginning.
     
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  20. Seth Bullock

    Seth Bullock Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    To directly answer your question, what happens is that we live with it. A better question is, “how do we prevent it from happening in the first place?”

    The answer is that we appoint “originalist” or “constructionist” judges, judges who are guided strictly by the words of the Constitution, nothing else.

    So why don’t we do that?

    The answer, I think, can be traced back to the temporal, self-serving political calculations of the U.S. Senate which confirms SC judges.

    And why do they place politics above all else? Because they are trying to position themselves to win yet another reelection, playing to their base.

    And so how do we get members of Congress who will act in the best interests of the country instead of their own selfish interests? The answer to that is that we enact a constitutional amendment imposing strict term limits on members of Congress. The President is limited to 8 years in office. Members of Congress should also be limited to 8 years total combined years of service in the House and Senate.

    This change would take the “career” out of politics and put the “service” back into it. It would motivate our representatives to do the right things rather than the political thing.

    I believe that change would profoundly change the governance of our country in a positive way. The lack of congressional term limits is, in my opinion, easily the single greatest flaw in our Constitution. In my opinion, most of our national problems are not difficult to solve if we take the political calculations out of the solutions. But as long as we allow members of Congress to stay in their positions of power and privilege forever until they die, we are going to receive continuous poor governance, including attempts to turn the SC into a political body rather than a neutral deliberative body.
     
  21. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    I did not ask you about anything of the sort.

    How did I know you would avoid answering the question?

    Kind of a conundrum isn't it?
     
  22. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Donor

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    Agreed. Because the ruling could open the door to Eastman's wet dream. Allowing Repub state legislatures to submit their own slate of electors...........potentially overruling the will of the people.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
  23. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Donor

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    Your erroneous assumption was the EPA assumed power it was not given by Congress.
     
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  24. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    I did not assume anything because I did not even bring up the clean Air act
     
  25. independentthinker

    independentthinker Well-Known Member

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    We get kangaroo investigations, scheduled in prime time just before elections.
     

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