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March 26, 2019

House Override Vote of Trump's Emergency Border Wall Order Fails, 248-181; Wall Construction Will Begin

The Hill:

The chamber voted 248-181 to override the veto, falling short of the roughly 290 votes, or two-thirds majority, needed.

Now, expect a court challenge, but here's the thing: This is a statutory use of the emergency power -- not an assertion of inherent constitutional power, which the courts would be more skeptical about -- but a statutory use of power that Congress delegated to the president.

Further, Congress spelled out the precise method by which such an order could be challenged: by a vote on a resolution of disapproval, which the president could veto (and then a subsequent veto override vote).

This was all specified by Congress. The Rule of Law was followed. To the letter.

This is not a case where the President is usurping Congressional power and the court feels it should step in to safeguard the separation of powers.

This is a case where Congress gave this power to the president, and the president accepted.

For the courts to step in here would not be safeguarding the separation of powers -- it would be violating it. If two coequal branches have worked this out between themselves, what right does a third buttinsky branch have to step in and overrule both of them?

What would the court challenge be predicated upon? That Congress may not delegate so much power to the president?

Maybe, but...

Here's the thing: that argument has been tried before and it has been rejected partly because of mere logistical concerns. Congress has been delegating so much power to the president and to executive branch agencies (all "rules" in laws, the real nitty-gritty of the law, are written by executive branch agencies, for example) that to say that this system is unconstitutional would paralyze the country, as this is the way it's been done for 60 years now.

Does Congress even have the capacity to write the hundreds of thousands of rules that it delegates to executive agencies itself? Can it vote on them? Dare it vote on them?, given that it has preferred to not write unpopular rules but instead empower a non-elected executive agency to do the dirty work for them...?

I'm not saying that Congress should not have retained its power and not have delegated so much of it -- even its primary power, that of lawmaking, giving the all-important power to write "rules" (really, again, the details part of the laws) to executive agencies -- but it did and it's done so for 60 years and now the entire modern system of government is predicated on this, built on this, inextricably tied up in all this.

So what's a court going to do? Decide that the last 60 years of Supreme Court deference to Congress' determination to delegate most of its power to the executive is unconstitutional, because a Ninth Circuit panel doesn't like the outcome in one single case of delegation?

Unlikely.

And if they do do that -- well, that's kind of a conservative victory. Conservatives, or rather constitutionalists, have been arguing against the regime of endless delegation to the executive for 60 years and have gotten nowhere.

If the Supreme Court suddenly wants to destroy this entire system, root and branch, with a single ruling -- well, we lose the wall, but we gain a lot more.


Bonus: Second Headline!

Mike Lee Offers Constructive Criticism for the Green New Deal



Here's the speech. It's only 14 minutes long, and if you go to the settings and increase the playback speed to 1.5 or 2x, you can really get through it quick.

It's worth it.

For a more serious quote, he says, "It's not a serious policy document. Because it's not a policy document at all. The resolution is not an agenda of solutions. It's a token of elite tribal identity, and endorsing it, a public act of piety, for the chic and the woke."

He then shows pictures of babies and urges Americans to have more of them.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 02:44 PM

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