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Sat Dec 7, 2019, 02:59 PM

Hope for separation of powers rests with justice

By Sid Schwab / Herald columnist

From federal District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s ruling on Trump ordering White House personnel to ignore congressional subpoenas:

“However busy or essential a presidential aide might be … the President does not have the power to excuse him or her from taking an action that the law requires. …

“Presidents are not kings. This means that they do not have subjects … whose destiny they are entitled to control. Rather, in this land of liberty, … current and former employees of the White House work for the People of the United States, and they take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Your indefatigable columnist has previously asked on what basis any president could command current or former underlings to refuse congressional oversight. None, as it turns out. Not according to this judge, appointed for her competence rather than for past and future rightwing dogmatism. Which means the issue remains unsettled until we hear from the Supreme Court. It may well come down to Chief Justice John Roberts, who once claimed that his job would be to “call balls and strikes.” If he believes that, it’ll be an easy call.



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