by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
There are times here in Year Three of the Trump presidency when I feel like I’m trapped in a nightmarish loop. From Trump’s travel ban to his national-emergency declaration, similar patterns play out over and over again: The Constitution of the United States grants Congress a specific, important power, Congress delegates that power to the president, the president uses it in a controversial and contentious manner, and — thanks to Congress’s original delegation — there is no effective legal mechanism for reining him in.
Moreover, because many members of the media don’t understand the proper role of the judiciary (or the law), they blame the Supreme Court when it refuses to stop Trump. They claim that the judiciary is “too deferential” to the president. This is wrong. The judiciary is properly deferential to Congress. The court is ratifying congressional intent. …
… We’re locked in a version of the same fight that played out over the travel ban and is playing out over the national emergency (the Constitution doesn’t give Congress the power to declare national emergencies, but Congress did leave the definition of an emergency to the president’s discretion), only this time the citizenship question is at issue.
It’s in moments like this when the contrast between progressive and conservative approaches to jurisprudence can grow most stark. The progressive looks at the pattern above and demands that the Court fix the problem. The conservative looks at that same pattern and says, “If you don’t like the law, change it.”