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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Trump and the Rule of Law


At the Daily Beast, Lloyd Green notes that Solicitor General Noel Francisco and Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow once attacked executive overreach.
Back in November 2014, in the face of an impasse with Congress over immigration, Barack Obama announced his own “Immigration Accountability Executive Action,” and Citizen Trump would have none of it, tweeting that “Repubs must not allow Pres Obama to subvert the Constitution of the US for his own benefit & because he is unable to negotiate w/ Congress.”
Obama’s efforts were finally blocked by the courts, in part thanks to the efforts of Sekulow, whose clients included about two dozen Republican senators—Sen. Mitch McConnell among them —Republican congressmen, and conservative interest groups. In an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Sekulow compared Obama’s actions to Harry Truman’s steel seizure during the Korean War, while also hinting that Obama was a tyrant.
Sekulow wrote: “The founding fathers intentionally separated these powers among the branches, fearing that a concentration of power in any one branch, being unchecked, would become tyrannical.”
They also argued against Obama's abuse of recess appointments.
Francisco argued to the Supreme Court that “As much as Presidents may desire an escape-hatch from Senate confirmation, the Constitution does not provide one.” He also stressed that the separation of powers “‘protects against the abuse of power”’ that ‘is critical to preserving liberty.’”
As for Sekulow, he contended that “Under the Separation of Powers Doctrine, the Executive and Legislative Branches of Government Are Co-Equal and the President Has No Authority to Overrule Congress’s Determination that It Is in Session.” For their part, McConnell and 44 Republican Senate colleagues repeatedly accused Obama of seeking to “usurp” their powers.