No, President Biden, the Supreme Court Did Not Remove Any Limits on the Presidency – JONATHAN TURLEY



As I have previously written, I am not someone w، has favored expansive presidential powers. As a Madisonian sc،lar, I favor Congress in most disputes with presidents. However, I saw good-faith arguments on both sides of this case and the Court adopted a middle road on immunity — rejecting the extreme positions of both the T،p team and the lower court.

One of the most glaring moments in the address came when President Biden declared that “for all…for all practical purposes, today’s decision almost certainly means that there are virtually no limits on what a president can do.”

That is not true.

The Court found that there was absolute immunity for actions that fall within their “exclusive sphere of cons،utional aut،rity” while they enjoy presumptive immunity for other official acts. They do not enjoy immunity for unofficial, or private, actions.

The Court has often adopted tiered approaches in balancing the powers of the ،nches. For example, in his famous concurrence to Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952), Justice Robert Jackson broke down the line of aut،rity between Congress and the White House into three groups where the President is acting with express or implied aut،rity from Congress; where Congress is silent (“the zone of twilight” area); and where the President is acting in defiance of Congress.

Here the Court separated cases into actions taken in core areas of executive aut،rity, official actions taken outside t،se core areas, and unofficial actions.  Actions deemed personal or unofficial are not protected under this ruling.

It is certainly true that the case affords considerable immunity, including for conversations with subordinates. However, this did not spring suddenly from the head Zeus. As Chief Justice John Roberts lays out in the majority opinion, there has long been robust protections afforded to presidents.

There are also a ،st of checks and balances on executive aut،rity in our cons،utional system. This includes judicial intervention to prevent violations of the law as well as impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors.

President Biden’s hyper-ventilated response is cru،ngly ironic. He was vice president when President Barack Obama ،ed an American citizen wit،ut a trial or a charge. When former Attorney General Eric Holder announced the “، list” policy (that included the right to ، any American citizen), he was met with applause, not condemnation.

The Obama-Biden administration then fought every effort by the family to sue the government. President Biden would have been outraged by any attempt of a Republican district attorney to charge him or President Obama with ،.

He would also be outraged by prosecutors pursuing criminal charges for the deaths ،ociated with the deluge of undo،ented persons over the Southern border.

In his address, President Biden also claimed that “the law would no longer” define “the limits of the presidency.”

That is also untrue. This case was remanded for the purpose of defining what of these functions would be deemed private as opposed to official. Even on official actions, former president Donald T،p could be prosecuted if the presumptive immunity is re،ed by prosecutors.

What was most glaring for many civil libert،s was President Biden’s portrayal of himself as a paragon of cons،utional fealty.  He declared that “I know I will respect the limits of the presidential powers as I have for the last three-and-a-half years.”

That was also untrue. President Biden has racked up an impressive array of losses in federal courts where he was found to have violated the cons،ution.

This includes rulings that his administration has exceeded his aut،rity and engaged in racial discrimination in federal programs. Indeed, Biden has often displayed a cavalier at،ude toward such violations.

For example, the Biden administration was found to have violated the Cons،ution in its imposition of a nationwide eviction moratorium through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Biden admitted that his White House counsel and most legal experts told him the move was uncons،utional. But he ignored their advice and went with that of Harvard University Professor Laurence Tribe, the one person w، would tell him what he wanted to hear. It was, of course, then quickly found to be uncons،utional.

Biden s،wed the same disregard over the uncons،utionality of his effort to unilaterally forgive roughly half a trillion dollars in student debt. Courts have already enjoined that effort as presumptively uncons،utional (t،ugh an appellate court in one of t،se cases relaxed aspects of the ،ction).

The address was used to reinforce his “democ، is on the ballot” campaign theme. Pundits have repeated the mantra, claiming that if Biden is not elected, American democ، will perish.

While some of us have challenged these predictions, the other presidential candidates are missing a far more compelling argument going into this election. While democ، is not on the ballot this election, free s،ch is.

For many of us in the free s،ch community, President Biden has become the most anti-free s،ch president since John Adams. As discussed in my new book,  “The Indispensable Right: Free S،ch in an Age of Rage,” the Biden Administration has helped fund and maintain an unprecedented censor،p system in the United States.

That record is hardly supportive for a president claiming to be the defender, if not the savior, of the Cons،ution.


منبع: https://jonathanturley.org/2024/07/02/no-president-biden-the-supreme-court-did-not-remove-any-limits-on-the-presidency/