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

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  •  Disregarding is not the same thing as honoring it. (0+ / 0-)

    The question isn't whether the Executive can ignore the debt ceiling, the question is whether it may honor it when Congress fails to do so?

    I believe there is a case to be made that the Executive may step in an pay the obligations that Congress has created. To argue otherwise is to suggest that Congress may create debt obligations and then refuse to pay. In other words, they can, in some cases steal and not perform duties without passing legislation. I'd like to the argument that Congress has such authority.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 01:29:00 PM PDT

    •  OK here are the statutory powers of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      the Treasury Secretary and a few sections later in the United States Code is a limit on that power

      31 USC 3101(b) The face amount of obligations issued under this chapter and the face amount of obligations whose principal and interest are guaranteed by the United States Government (except guaranteed obligations held by the Secretary of the Treasury) may not be more than $14,294,000,000,000, outstanding at one time, . . . .

      "Disregarding" and "not honoring" are not legal terms but rest assured the Secretary only has the powers granted by Congress subject to any limitations on those powers. If he does something that falls outside of those powers his action is ultra vires, which is a fancy way of saying, without authority or illegal.

      I agree that a good case can be made that the debt limit conflicts with the 14th Amendment, and it is discussed in the lin

      ked article. But the real issue is whether the executive branch has the right to violate laws based on a unilateral determination of Unconstitutionality, or whether that power resides only in the courts.

      Here's what the Supreme Court says on that subject,

      ...(neither) Congress or the Executive, or both acting in concert and in compliance with Art. I, can decide the constitutionality of a statute; that is a decision for the courts.[13]
      from Chadha v INS.

      Further, affiant sayeth not.

      by Gary Norton on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 01:49:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tell the Rethugs in Congress that if they don't (0+ / 0-)

      extend the debt ceiling, they get no paychecks and get fined the cost of paying all other Federal checks to boot.

      Bet their unpaid, overpriced lawyers could be heard coast-to-coast.

      Torture is for the weak. After all, it is just extended wheedling.

      by nargel on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:19:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  nargal - they have immunity (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MKSinSA

        Pay for members of Congress is constitutionally protected, although Congress may give up its pay if all non-essential federal workers are sent home. In addition, members of Congress have broad immunity for their actions, or non-actions while performing their official duties. The gopers have no legal requirement to vote for an increase in the debt ceiling and would never be subject to any personal liability.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 10:10:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If they fail to do their "costitutional duty" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MKSinSA

          they should be fined for failure to to their damn job.
          They swore an oath to follow and perform the Constitution, i.e. Amendment 14- clause 4.

          Torture is for the weak. After all, it is just extended wheedling.

          by nargel on Sat Jul 09, 2011 at 09:14:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  nargel - members of Congress can't be fined (0+ / 0-)

            Technically members of Congress only have to appear to be sworn in. After that they could not show up again. Now, the House or Senate could vote to remove them (which they would) or they could be impeached. Those are the only remedies for members of Congress. They are certainly not required to vote on any specific piece of legislation, are never required to vote FOR some specific piece of legislation. There is not even a constitutional requirement that a bill to increase the debt ceiling has to come to the floor of the House for a vote. As I noted in my first comment members of Congress have very broad immunity and are not subject to any civil causes of action for their official acts. If there is no vote on a debt ceiling bill, or if there is a bill and it is defeated, no member of Congress would have any personal liability for the resulting financial chaos.  

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sun Jul 10, 2011 at 06:58:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It may not be a crime to be a typical Rethug (0+ / 0-)

              fuckwit, but it should.  Spitting on your own oath of office?  LAME.

              Torture is for the weak. After all, it is just extended wheedling.

              by nargel on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:00:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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