Apparently, Trump and company are under the impression that a president is an absolute monarch who can contravene the Constitution and laws enacted by Congress with the stroke of a pen on an “executive order” crafted by his aides, without review by the DOJ or consultation with relevant agency expertise.
Unfortunately, it will take lawyers and courts time to work through the havoc created by Trump’s order banning Muslims from entering the U.S.
But think of this: Congress, which under the Constitution has the power to make laws, has passed laws prescribing who may enter the U.S. legally and under what conditions, duly signed by Trump’s predecessors. The executive branch of which Trump is the head has the power to enforce the laws, not repeal them through executive orders.
Too bad candidates for President don’t have to pass a basic government final exam in order to run for the office. True, Trump did take an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.” But that oath presumes that the person taking it understands and respects the Constitution; throughout the campaign, there was no evidence that Trump does — and plenty of evidence that he doesn’t.
We are in for it. This is just the beginning of Trump’s derogation of the rule of law. And I doubt we can count on those portraits in craven like Ryan, McConnell, Cornyn, Rubio, Cruz and the rest to defend the Constitution. All they’re interested in is maintaining their own power and achieving what the GOP has really come to stand for: cutting taxes on the super-wealthy and gutting every social program that helps anyone else, including all those folks who voted for Trump.
I’ve been studying and following politics since 1968 and there has been no other time when the rule of law was so endangered, not even under Nixon, during Watergate. It’s really frightening.