The State of the Union address is not just an annual ritual—it is a requirement. Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution provides that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union.” That the speech is, today, more rhetorical than informative does not mean it… Continue reading Keeping the President in Check, One Congressional Hearing at a Time
There has been much press in the past week over U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard's op-ed in The Hill, which criticized fellow Democrats for having "weaponized religion for their own selfish gain." Gabbard called out members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for specific questions and statements they had directed to Catholic judicial nominees over the past… Continue reading Why the Gabbard-Hirono feud matters for the federal courts
We wrote recently, in Just Security, about December’s bipartisan Senate vote and resolution to withdraw U.S. military assistance from Yemen and to assign responsibility for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman—legislative moves contrary to the policy wishes of the Trump administration. The Senate’s actions suggested three developments in… Continue reading Checking Trump, One Foreign Policy at a Time
President Trump has recently taken to Twitter to disparage Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Coupled with the Attorney General’s firing of former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe days before his retirement, the President may be seeking to undermine Mueller’s credibility… Continue reading Faculty Blog: What the Improper Removal of Mueller Could Mean for Trump’s Presidency
By: Lawrence M. Friedman Professor Eric Posner recently explained a dilemma the federal courts face in the wake of President Trump’s election: how to check unconstitutional excesses while, at the same time, respecting the deference afforded “the president on national-security matters” in light of the president’s ability to act “on the basis of classified information,” coupled with the “need to move quickly.” That deference turns on a level of trust of the executive that courts, as exemplified by the unanimous decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in State of Washington v. Trump, may not hold. Posner warns of the possibility that the president, faced with many such decisions, might defy the courts. This raises the question whether the possibility of defiance, in itself, justifies adhering to the traditional deference the courts accord national security decision-making.
By: Lawrence M. Friedman and David M. Siegel As the confirmation process for President Trump’s cabinet comes to a close, it’s worth noting that Senators have failed to question any of the nominees about their understanding of their constitutional responsibilities under the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, much less whether any would be willing to fulfill those responsibilities.… Continue reading Faculty Blog: The Most Important Qualification for a Post in President Trump’s Cabinet