Important SCOTUS decision regarding presidential power

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/mazars-lawsuit/607540/

Plaintiff is making up law out of whole cloth to effect a ruling that destroys congressional oversight of a president. Will SCOTUS cooperate or rule constitutionally? News in June.

Good analysis by The Atlantic, as usual.

The rule of law: Here today, Erdogan tomorrow. (Sorry).

20 thoughts on “Important SCOTUS decision regarding presidential power

  1. RE: “Plaintiff is making up law out of whole cloth to effect a ruling that destroys congressional oversight of a president.”

    Not really. Frum is no doubt correct that plaintiff’s legal arguments are without precedent, but precedent is not a necessary condition for legal argument. That is to say it is entirely appropriate and desirable for the courts to adjudicate new questions of law which have not been tested previously.

    Having watched Congress abuse its powers in various ways during the Trump presidency, I am sympathetic to the view that judicial review of its Constitutional powers is in order. Congressional oversight is clearly a limited power. I hope the SCOTUS can find a way to use the current case to restore the balance between the branches that we appear to have lost.

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    1. I believe you hold that the office president needs to be the most powerful. So I see where you are coming from.

      I, on the other hand, feel that power in Congress is spread over 538 representatives from 50 states so the likelihood of abuse is much, much lower by orders of magnitude.

      The president has a job to do as outlined in the Constitution. If he fails, then it is up to the people to make corrections. Waiting several years for another election may not always be prudent or even dangerous.

      Removing the president, as we know through history is almost impossible. It has never worked yet.

      But accountability while in office cannot be ignored.

      If there is evidence that a president’s personal interests are at odds with the national interests, then oversight is not only warranted, but crucial.

      Therein lies the impetus for his financial records with the bank and his accountants.

      Trump is an outlier, no doubt. But that does not give him license to side step scrutiny or interfere in the workings of the other branches.

      Constitutionally, most of his actions and powers are under the oversight of the people. Treaties, appointments, laws, military actions, etc., are all subject to Congressional approval. Or were as originally intended.

      With regards to the suits by Trump, the legal position as shown in The Atlantic is, of course, the plaintiff’s. And they can write it as if it were based on precedent or law with the hopes that the SCOTUS appointees from the right will get the hint.

      I hope the Court is less biased than that.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. RE: “I believe you hold that the office president needs to be the most powerful.”

        Please try to be accurate when representing my positions. In this instance, I have repeatedly made the argument that the Executive is a co-equal branch of government, neither superior nor subordinate to the Legislative branch.

        My position is that Congressional oversight is a limited power because nowhere does the Constitution explicitly grant authority to oversee the Executive to Congress.

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  2. What is wrong with the President demanding the same due process any of us is entitled to?

    If the House wants to examine the President’s private business and tax records, they should indeed be required to state the legislative purpose.

    Picking through private records in hopes of finding useful opposition research is NOT a legitimate legislative purpose.

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    1. ” “It is simply not fathomable that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a president for reasons including criminal behavior would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct — past or present — even without formally opening an impeachment inquiry,” Mehta wrote.

      Mehta (The Federal Judge) noted that Congress had twice investigated alleged illegal activity by presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. “Congress plainly views itself as having sweeping authority to investigate illegal conduct of a president, before and after taking office,” Mehta wrote. “This court is not prepared to roll back the tide of history.”

      There is a legitimate investigation into felony fraud with regards to financial transactions before he became president.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. What prior criminal acts?

        Or are they just hoping to find some?

        If the police want to search your records, they have to tell the court what they are looking for, they can’t just show up at your door and demand your records in hopes of finding you broke some unspecified law.

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        1. Financial fraud in loan applications for a starter.He lied to Deutsche Bank about a his financial status to get money to by an NFL team. This according to sworn testimony by his personal attorney of decades.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I don’t know. There are several cases outside of Congress in which financial info has been subpoenaed for grand jury investigations.

            Some Congressional concerns are about conflict of interests with regards to policies and financial relations overseas, including money laundering.

            Liked by 1 person

        1. @tabor

          Blame Mellon or Tea Pot Dome, but the law is clear:

          “Congressional access to tax returns is important for its legislative prerogatives, including gathering information for prospective legislation and performing oversight of the executive”

          Period, end of story, really not that complicated.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Actually it’s “shall furnish”.

            Here’s the specific text and 11 legal scholar’s perspective.

            Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary [of the Treasury] shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request, except that any return or return information which can be associated with, or otherwise identify, directly or indirectly, a particular taxpayer shall be furnished to such committee only when sitting in closed executive session unless such taxpayer otherwise consents in writing to such disclosure.

            https://www.vox.com/2019/4/9/18296806/trump-tax-returns-congress-legal-experts

            Liked by 2 people

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