Thursday, July 7, 2011

Maybe I Need a Con Law Refresher...

..., because if I am reading the U.S Constitution's 14th Amendment correctly, then I would think that President Obama looking to it as a potential remedy for the debt ceiling issue, if Congress fails to act, is a constitutional question, not an impeachable offense.  Last time I checked, I don't think looking for a constitutional solution to a federal problem is an example of either treason, bribery or high crimes and/or misdemeanors.


TC said...

The 14th Amendment says:

4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

In August we "run out" of enough money to pay our normal outlays. A normal reading of the 14th Amendment would be that the United States would still have to pay its debts -- probably at the expense of normal outlays.

Realizing that we cannot default on debt does not give the President the authority to continue to spend IN ADDITION to the debt.

hscfree said...

With all of that said, and let me add that I don't think that this 14th Amendment discussion regarding the debt ceiling is fruitful, your comment about "A normal reading of the 14th Amendment," suggests that it's possible that there could be a different reading depending on the argument. My point is that I think it's silly to talk of impeachment over a potential constitutional question. a constitutional interpretation beyond that which is "A normal reading," I doubt, qualifies as an impeachable offense.