Print This Post Print This Post

The Constitution: Can Trump Trump It?

We are nearing the end of President Trump’s first week in office.  But who has challenged his brash claims that he will build a $11 billion (or much costlier) wall, charge the cost initially to US Taxpayers, and later supposedly extract the cost from Mexico by coercion?  Why not a word from Congress?

Why has no one cited the rights, duties, and limits placed on a President by the Constitution and Bill of Rights?

Can Donald Tweeter Trump order a “wall” be built, appropriate taxpayer funds and then alter old treaties with Mexico to force its citizens to pay for his idea?  Of course not!

Can President Trump change treaties with Mexico that a previous Congress put in place to intimidate Mexico in order to pay for a project they did not build?  Of course not, at least not peacefully!  Are we to invade and occupy Mexico?

Read the Constitution for yourself and then ask, where is our Congress and Supreme Court while all this loose talk is being tweeted from the White House?  What are they afraid of?

US Constitution, Section 1.   All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

And also read the US Constitution’s “Appropriations Clause”:

Section 7. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.

Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law.

One of many legal interpreters is Kate Stith, the Lafayette S. Foster Professor of Law at Yale Law School, who writes:

“The Constitution places the power of the purse in Congress: ‘No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law . . .’ In specifying the activities on which public funds may be spent, Congress defines the contours of federal power. This requirement of legislative appropriation before public funds are spent is at the foundation of our constitutional order.”

Stith goes on:  “The Appropriations Clause is not technically a grant of legislative power, because pursuant to the Necessary and Proper Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 1), Congress clearly has the power to specify the objects, amounts, and timing of federal spending—even if there were no Appropriations Clause. If Congress could not limit the Executive’s withdrawing of funds from the Treasury, then the constitutional grants of power to Congress to raise taxes (Article I, Section 8, Clause 1) and to borrow money (Article 1, Section 9, Clause 2) would be for naught because the Executive could effectively compel taxing and borrowing by spending at will. Rather, the Appropriations Clause creates a legislative duty that Congress exercise control and assume responsibility over the federal fisc. Congress’s ‘power of the purse’ is at the foundation of our Constitution’s separation of powers, a constitutionally mandated check on Executive power. “ 

If you don’t trust Stith, read it for yourself!  

The Constitution also specifies procedures and grounds for impeaching Presidents who do not observe it.  President Bill Clinton came close, maybe Donald Trump should read it, too!  The uprising that put Trump in office is very much alive, and when the wounded US economy fails to revive, it will turn on Trump.

Editor Charles E Carlson


January 27th, 2017

don’t they get aid like isrealhell who don’t operate under a deficit that can be cut

Paul Hoskins
January 28th, 2017

Law has become trite to congress. More passionate leaders are inimical to it. But they seem to agree that the president should be opposed and frustrated if he desires to molest the status quo or achieve a virgin condition that restores law.

Therefore to protract the good will of the law that protects the integrity of debtor nation called America he must personify their sovereignty, which has been violated and forfeited to a seducer and then unlawfully circumvent a perfidious congress.

If he wants to restore a sovereignty then he must disavow the UN. If he asks congress lawfully to ratify then it goes to Committee on Foreign Affairs since the USA is a foreign nation and there because of Israeli AIPAC monopoly it will as times before die . Therefore he must be unlawful to ultimately establish law.

Executive orders have been used since corruption dictated and are always bad. Clinton, Bush and Obama have made them an alibi for the congress, which desires his usurpation of powers and their equally unlawful repudiation of theirs.

We are in a situation when we implore the mercy of the devil to do what the churches and man will not do. We want a king, a benevolent tyrant. Will he forgive us our debts as Jesus of Nazareth . I have never heard the new president condemn the god of Federal Reserve, the most unlawful amongst the conclave of robbers, thieves and traitors in DC.

His platform is to emulate greatness. That can an never be with this inexorable debt, which is compounded and whose diabolical creditors will never forgive. When Americans ask for forgiveness from CHrist and accept his will then repudiate all earthly debt AMerica will be born again. Our debt is our sin. The devil has exploited this by promising he will pay for it. Now our debt and sin is inexpiable.

January 29th, 2017

g w bush–“the constitution is a piece of paper”

Bob Howard
January 29th, 2017

You are simply another loudmouthed, angry liber[xxxx] (low IQ expletive has been edited out) that cannot understand or accept the will of the American people. One of my greatest joys these days is to wake and read the latest round of President Trump hating losers. Enjoy the next 8-years as President Trump does what he can to clean up the disastrous mess and mountain of debt left by liberal fools!

Tom Compton
January 29th, 2017

Once upon a time the United States of America was a constitutional republic with checks and balances to reign in tyranny. We get rule by tyranny from either Democrats or Republicans.

Alexis de Toqueville
January 29th, 2017

ho-hum. Same could have been written about Obama. An imperial Presidency is bad, but when an article like this one picks on an action only when one particular party does it, but not the other, I don’t take the article seriously.

Tom Compton
January 29th, 2017

We admit we are equal opportunity offenders. Makes no difference these days. We get wars with Democrats or Republicans. Obama was as much a warmaker as Bush, Clinton, and Bush I before him.

January 29th, 2017

Where was your mealy mouth comments about constitutional aspects when barak obama was violating the same constitution? Shut the fuck up you commie bastards.

Tom Compton
January 29th, 2017

Same reply as before: We admit we are equal opportunity offenders. Makes no difference these days. We get wars with Democrats or Republicans. Obama was as much a warmaker as Bush, Clinton, and Bush I before him.

James A. Bergmann
January 29th, 2017

The presidents actions????? He has used OUR public media to his own advantage! He uses E-Mail, Facebook, “Executive Orders” signed and witness by the press. Re-mines me of the INDIAN who shoots arrows into the sky? Where will they land and what good will they do!
Until we can see the effect “by the people and for the people!” We wait?

That may take some time????

James A. Bergmann

January 30th, 2017

It would be nice if bloggers bothered to at least basically inform themselves before launching jeremiads into the void on subjects about which they are plainly ignorant.


What power does the president have to act on immigration issues?

As chief executive, the president not only has the duty to enforce laws, but also the authority to decide how to do so.

Every law enforcement agency, including the agencies that enforce immigration laws, has “prosecutorial discretion” — the power to decide whom to investigate, arrest, detain, charge, and prosecute. Agencies may develop discretionary policies specific to the laws they’re charged with enforcing, the population they serve, and the problems they face.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may decide how to prioritize its resources in order to meet its stated enforcement goals.

Executive authority to take action is thus “fairly wide,” as former INS Commissioner Doris Meissner has said.[1] The Supreme Court has emphasized the federal government’s “broad discretion,” which includes consideration of “immediate human concerns.”[2]

The rest is available at National Immigration Law Center.