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View Diary: Why The Debt Limit Fight Will Be A Political Face-Off With No Gimmicks Or Constitutional Crisis (208 comments)

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  •  This was addressed extensively in the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, elwior, MichaelNY

    article. For the President the question was not whether there are colorable legal argument could be made, but rather whether he would assert that he has the authority to declare a law unconstitutional and refuse to abide by it. I discuss at some length why that is not something he wants to do.

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 02:28:19 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Not an Option (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FishOutofWater, chaboard

      It is not really an option.  Every position he takes is against one of these laws, he has to make a decision.  I understand the argument you are making.  You are saying that the president does not have to spend appropriated funds because Congress appropriates funds in the Treasury and has not provided a way to fund the Treasury.  It is the equivalent of the president deciding that Congress did not appropriate more than allows the Treasury to contain.  While the president can read the law this way, that is just what he is doing, reading the law a way he wants.  There is no affirmative law stating that appropriated funds are no longer appropriated if Congress does not provide a means for funding them.  The Impoundment Act only requires the president to spend what has been appropriated.  To use your argument is the same as using a colorable argument to evade abiding by the Impoundment Act.  He is in the same place however he chooses to act.

      The debt limit is unconstitutional, not because the president decides to declare that it is but because Congress cannot give a clear command to the executive branch to spend money and then a contradictory command not to pay for it.  Congress lacks that authority and the executive is not bound by a command that Congress lacks the authority to give.

      I don't think the president has to deem the debt limit unconstitutional.  I think the executive can only at best make a good faith attempt to comply with constitution.  The constitutional crisis already exists, we are just deciding how to most faithfully react to it.

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