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View Diary: Flash: Constitutional Challenge To Debt Limit Nixed By Treasury GC (37 comments)

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  •  Interesting (7+ / 0-)

    I'd been thinking the media had been misinterpreting what Geithner said and this confirms it.

    To me, the issue is that no matter what way you cut it, if Congress doesn't raise the debt limit, Obama will have to break a law. He'll either need to junk the debt limit, or he'll have to not spend money that Congress has appropriated. It's not clear to me how to reconcile that conflict. But I don't think the the constitution comes into play....other than maybe guaranteeing that debt holders will get repaid.

    •  It could come into play if the Treasury (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pstoller78

      Secretary went to court and got a declaratory judgement ruling that the debt limit law is Unconstitutional. There are certainly sound legal arguments in support of that position. But absent such a ruling the President ordering a violation of the law and the Secretary complying with such an order would create serious problems.

      Further, affiant sayeth not.

      by Gary Norton on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:49:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's how I read it too Jed (4+ / 0-)

      No one is arguing the debt ceiling is unconstitutional on its face, but that Congress' failure to raise the debt ceiling would put it at odds with existing lawful requirements to pay.

    •  Seems to me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gary Norton

      ...that if Congress doesn't raise the debt limit, then it's Congress that is breaking the law, not Obama. I don't know if there's any precedence with a branch of government willfully ignoring a Constitutional requirement, and how, or if those requirements will then devolve on the other branches, but if the debt limit ceiling is not raised, I don't see how the Supreme Court could not be immediately involved.

      •  The Supreme Court only gets (0+ / 0-)

        involved if a suit is filed and it is appealed to the S. The Court has original jurisdiction in a very limited number of circumstances, and this isn't one of them.

        Institutionally, they might even duck the issue as a "political question."

        Further, affiant sayeth not.

        by Gary Norton on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 01:09:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  episty - there is absolutely no Constitutional (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gary Norton

        requirement for Congress to raise he debt limit, at any time, for any reason. If there was a requirement, why would they even have to vote? The Supreme Court will not be involved if the debt limit is not raised. Why would they be? The Treasury Department has made it very clear that the debt limit is a Congressional power, not an executive branch authority.  The only time the DC Court of Appeals would have been involved is if the executive branch had tried to issue debt above the statutory limit. At that point the House could have had the DC Court issue a TRO to stop them.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 09:58:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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