As we all learned in civics class, there are three branches to the American government, as set forth in the U.S. Constitution: The executive, the legislative, and the judicial. Congress makes the laws, the executive (i.e. the President) enforces those laws, and the judicial decides if any of those laws violates the Constitution. Checks and balances, just the way Jefferson and Madison intended.
But now we have Donald Trump and the executive branch attempting to do an end run around a federal court. To do so would mean Trump and his team are in contempt of court, and that means they have overstepped their bounds, stretching our system to the brink of a genuine crisis.
When Trump signed an executive order banning immigration from seven countries in the Middle East, he was well within his rights as the head of state for this country. But then a day later a federal judge in Brooklyn ordered the Trump administration to stop deporting refugees and visitors immigration authorities had previously cleared to enter the country.
Yet just hours after that ruling by a the judge in New York, officials from the White House defiantly declared:
“Saturday’s ruling does not undercut the president’s executive order. All stopped visas will remain stopped. All halted admissions will remain halted. All restricted travel will remain prohibited.”
When a federal judge issues a ruling, that order applies to everyone unless it is stipulated in the order that there are exclusions. The judge in Brooklyn did not say the executive branch was free to ignore her. Matter of fact, her ruling was meant to place a stop to what was being done.
So here we are, just eight days after Trump took the oath of office, and we see him acting like a dictator. It’s as if he thinks that a federal judge answers to him and therefore he can do as he pleases. That’s pretty much what Richard Nixon thought, too, and take a look at what became of him.
Donald Trump may think he’s above the law, or the ruling of a judge, but he isn’t, and if need be, he can be proven wrong via the method that the Constitution spells out for getting rid of dangerous heads of state: It’s known as impeachment.
Featured Image Via YouTube