When President Trump was asked during Monday’s news briefing what authority he has to reopen the country, he didn’t hesitate to answer. “I have the ultimate authority,” the president responded, cutting off the reporter who was speaking.And with that, the leader of the Republican Party challenged decades worth of conservative party-based federalism.
Trump later clarified his position further, telling reporters, “When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total and that’s the way it’s got to be. … It’s total. The governors know that.”
The local leaders, Trump said, “can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States.”
Even the otherwise odious Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) disagreed with the orange vulgarity:
Even the otherwise odious John Woo (he of the Bush-era Torture memos) disagreed with his high orangeness. Writing in The National Review:The federal government does not have absolute power.— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) April 13, 2020
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” United States Constitution, Amendment X
Presiding Trump claims that he has the right to determine when businesses open their doors, employees return to work, and consumers shop again. “For the purpose of creating conflict and confusion, some in the Fake News Media are saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States & the Federal Government,” he tweeted earlier today. “Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect . . . It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons.”And:
But the federal government does not have that power. The Constitution’s grant of limited, enumerated powers to the national government does not include the right to regulate either public health or all business in the land.
States possess the “police power” to regulate virtually all activity within their borders. As the Supreme Court has recognized, safeguarding public health and safety presents the most compelling use of state power. Only the states can impose quarantines, close institutions and businesses, and limit intra-state travel. Democratic governors Gavin Newsom in California, Andrew Cuomo in New York, and J.B. Pritzker Illinois imposed their states’ lockdowns, and only they will decide when the draconian policies will end.This presents a challenge to our conservative friends (especially those in Congress or running for a seat in Congress). For years we heard their political lamentations regarding the abuses of President Obama's "executive overreach." Like this one, from Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey. Sen. Toomey is explaining his decision to block President Obama's nomination for the Supreme Court, Garland Merrick:
Yet when Toomey emerged, he was more resolute than ever that Garland should not be confirmed. And it wasn't just the principle that the court seat should remain vacant. For Toomey, it's also the person.Where is Senator Toomey's denunciation of Trump's "executive overreach" now?
Toomey said that his main issue regards executive overreach — that President Barack Obama has circumvented Congress, and future presidents will do the same. On that topic, Garland did little to sway to him.
"We talked about concerns I have about his record and his judicial philosophy. Unfortunately, for me, throughout the process of this discussion, he did not assuage my concerns," Toomey told reporters. "I'm not convinced that he would be willing to play the role of a sufficiently aggressive check on an administration."
Where is Representative Guy Reschenthaler's denunciation of Trump's "executive overreach" now?
Where is GOP candidate Sean Parnell's denunciation of Trump's "executive overreach" now?