The Constitution vests Congress with the power to discipline the President. What sense does it make for Congress to seek such disciplinary action from the judicial branch, which has no power to enforce its opinions without the President's aid? The Constitutional obligation to hold the President accountable for dereliction of duty clearly follows the responsibility for impeachment and removal. The U.S. Constitution gives that responsibility to Congress, not the Supreme Court. (Why de facto government (Tyranny) is replacing the Constitution)
The words quoted above are from an article I wrote in March of last year. I thought of them recently as I was reading a report that “Michele Bachmann says House conservatives are preparing to sue President Obama for executive overreach in response to his threats of unilateral action on a host of issues.” Apparently Bachmann and some others in Congress believe that “legislation allowing lawmakers to hire an attorney…can force the president to act under the Constitution.”
The key word here is “force”. Bachmann and her colleagues need to remember that the Judicial Branch doesn’t have any. As Hamilton observes in Federalist 78:
The judiciary…has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction of the strength or of the wealth of the society, and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive even for the efficacy of its judgments.
Obviously, in contrast with many politicians these days, Hamilton took pains to think things through.
Let’s assume, for instance, that Bachmann and her colleagues succeed in passing the legislation they seek. (Alright, it’s unlikely given the fact that the Democrats presently control the U.S. Senate. But “for the sake of the argument…” as they say, let’s ignore that difficulty.) Let’s further assume that their case gets to the Supreme Court, which issues an opinion supporting their view that the President’s actions are unconstitutional.
What happens next? Perhaps Obama rolls over, bows to the Supreme Court, and retracts his Executive orders. That might happen, or it might not. Let’s say that it doesn't happen. Instead...[read more]