Democrats want courts involved in debt-limit standoff

posted at 8:41 am on January 8, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

So sue me. That schoolyard taunt may become political strategy, according to The Hill, as Democrats insist that the President can raise the nation’s debt limit unilaterally.  Why not get the courts involved by having Barack Obama do so and force Republicans to sue him in federal court?

And you thought that the trillion-dollar coin idea was as dumb as it gets:

Democratic lawmakers are urging President Obama to force Republicans to take him to court over the controversial issue of raising the debt ceiling.

They believe the Supreme Court will have to ultimately resolve the battle over spending now raging between Republicans and the president.

But how the courts will rule is shrouded in uncertainty because little case law exists to serve as meaningful precedent, say legal scholars.

Democrats in Congress argue Obama should not feel constrained by the 1917 debt limit law, which the federal government is projected to hit in late February, because it conflicts with other laws.

“The president I think has the authority under the Constitution and under the various statutes that are passed — if nothing is done — he must do something about paying the bills,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.). “That issue may well go to the courts in our system.”

“He’s got two different statutes telling him different things and he can resolve — multiple statutes telling him different things — he can resolve that issue,” Udall added.

Supporters of this newfound presidential power over statute have been pointing to the 14th Amendment, specifically its fourth clause: “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.”  However, that passage doesn’t give the executive branch authority to do anything, and in fact requires that the debt “be authorized by law.”

Who does the authorizing?  The more directly relevant Constitutional reference comes in Article I, Section 8, which specifically assigns Congress the authority to borrow: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; To borrow money on the credit of the United States[.]“  The debt limit itself is Congressional authorization for the executive branch (through the Treasury) to borrow what is needed.

Whether one likes it or not, the debt limit belongs to Congress.  The President can neither borrow or spend without authorization from the legislative branch.  That was a key separation of power that the founders intended to keep the executive from overwhelming the people’s branch of government and to prevent the creation of tyrants in democracy’s clothing.  Federal courts would take almost no time in declaring an Obama hike of the debt limit unconstitutional, and hurriedly exiting the debacle between the other two branches of government.

Say, does anyone remember when Democrats insisted that they were a bulwark against what they (ignorantly) called “the unitary executive”? Good times, good times.


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Skip the courts, how about filing impeachment.

hillsoftx on January 8, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Say, does anyone remember when Democrats insisted that they were a bulwark against what they (ignorantly) called “the unitary executive”?

Well, Bush was like an emperor and a super tyrant… But Obama’s cool so, no, no we don’t.
-Democrats,MSM,”the left”

Gatsu on January 8, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Oh yeah, sent it to the supreme court . . . we all know what a wonderful gaggle they are.

rplat on January 8, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Roberts will be the deciding vote. He will decide that Obama can set his own debt ceiling because, after all, it’s a tax.

petefrt on January 8, 2013 at 8:49 AM

revisionist history is the Ds meme. Sadly, too many Americans don’t know our founding documents or our history.

CoffeeLover on January 8, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Federal courts would take almost no time in declaring an Obama hike of the debt limit unconstitutional, and hurriedly exiting the debacle between the other two branches of government.

You sure about that, Ed? Who would’ve thought a year ago that John Roberts would sell us out the way he did? You can’t trust judges anymore than you can politicians these days.

Doughboy on January 8, 2013 at 8:50 AM

And you thought that the trillion-dollar coin idea was as dumb as it gets

Guam tipping over. :)

That’s my high-water mark. No pun intended.

Axe on January 8, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Why is this government still spending money willy nilly four years out from passing an actual budget? Take that to the courts.

forest on January 8, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Guam tipping over. :)

That’s my high-water mark. No pun intended.

Axe on January 8, 2013 at 8:50 AM

I think you win the Intertubez today.

Ed Morrissey on January 8, 2013 at 8:51 AM

This will be an “IN Your Face, America” presidency. Rule by Eo and court order.

kingsjester on January 8, 2013 at 8:52 AM

The Redcoats aren’t coming.

They are here.

artist on January 8, 2013 at 8:53 AM

…”and to prevent the creation of tyrants in democracy’s clothing”. Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! Can there be any better description of this president?!

trader67 on January 8, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Oh dear Lord we are being governed by a bunch of 8 year old kids going “I know you are but what am I”.

gophergirl on January 8, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Maybe the courts should be involved in demanding that the Senate fulfill its Constitutional duty to generate a budget.

onlineanalyst on January 8, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Wouldn’t expect anything less

cmsinaz on January 8, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Looks like it’s time for Roberts, and his fellow libs on the court, to re-write the Constitution again!

cajunpatriot on January 8, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Can we force OFA to pay for the damages?

Steve Eggleston on January 8, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Skip the courts, how about filing impeachment.

hillsoftx on January 8, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Works for me. Such an approach would be a clear violation of the Presidential oath of office to uphold the Constitution. It’d be purely partisan but I’d be fascinated to see just how the enemy in the Senate defend their rat-eared idol.

Happy Nomad on January 8, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Zimbabweans on line 2 for America, Zimbabwe on line 2, pick up the red emergency phone. NOW.

Bishop on January 8, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Guam tipping over. :)

That’s my high-water mark. No pun intended.

Axe on January 8, 2013 at 8:50 AM

I think you win the Intertubez today.

Ed Morrissey on January 8, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Hey, awarding the Comment of the Day™ is my job :-)

Axe wins.

Steve Eggleston on January 8, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Someone needs to sit down with those dem wits and ask them if they really intend to support the president in an executive violation of the Constitution.

Refresh my memory. What’s the definition of treason?

ROCnPhilly on January 8, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Sotomayor: Comercia Clause!
Kagan: Rock it hot Latina!
Ginsberg: Prune Juice anyone?
Kennedy: I’ll take mine with a shot.
Roberts: We’re agreed. Lord Bow-wow-wow can raise the debt limit under the provisions of the amendment.

CorporatePiggy on January 8, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Looks like it’s time for Roberts, and his fellow libs on the court, to re-write the Constitution again!

cajunpatriot on January 8, 2013 at 9:00 AM

There may as well not be a Constitution if the courts allow Obama to ignore the debt ceiling. At that point he and Bernanke essentially run this country, at least until the entire economy implodes.

Doughboy on January 8, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Oh dear Lord we are being governed by a bunch of 8 year old kids going “I know you are but what am I”.

gophergirl on January 8, 2013 at 8:56 AM

My 8 year olds never advocated for a domestic security force, authorized drone strikes on American citizens, or ran guns to Mexican drug cartels in an effort to frame the American people.

If the Dog Eater gets his way on this there will be no stopping him on anything; the 2nd Amendment will be dismissed so fast it will send a land speed record.

Bishop on January 8, 2013 at 9:05 AM

They believe the Supreme Court will have to ultimately resolve the battle over spending now raging between Republicans and the president.

What did the founders put in the Constitution to give citizens redress when ALL branches of the government became corrupt and tried to Lord over the people?

When the Commie Democrats say “the Supreme Court” they really mean the BUSH appointed John Roberts.

PappyD61 on January 8, 2013 at 9:06 AM

There is no such thing as a unitary executive any more.

Now shut up and let Obama eliminate whatever constitutional constraints he wants.

Because BOOOOOOSH.

Good Lt on January 8, 2013 at 9:06 AM

He One..
We lost.

Welcome to Amerika

Electrongod on January 8, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Guam tipping over. :)

That’s my high-water mark. No pun intended.

Axe on January 8, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Yeah, it’s gonna be hard to top that one.

KCB on January 8, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Zimbabweans on line 2 trillion for America, Zimbabwe on line 2 trillion, pick up the red emergency phone. NOW.

Bishop on January 8, 2013 at 9:02 AM |

FIFY.

Ed Morrissey on January 8, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Skip the courts, how about filing impeachment.

hillsoftx on January 8, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Yeah don’t I wish.

But we would have maybe a dozen people who would stand for such a thing, and that’s counting Rand “isolationist Joo-h8r” Paul.

In other words it would be like the GOP threatening gov’t shutdown over the fiscal cliff: an exercise in futility. “All vrooom and no zoom”, as I heard a racer put it.

MelonCollie on January 8, 2013 at 9:10 AM

pass a going budget you corrupt traitors.

going elected democrats and their idiot enablers.

tom daschle concerned on January 8, 2013 at 9:12 AM

That was a key separation of power that the founders intended to keep the executive from overwhelming the people’s branch of government and to prevent the creation of tyrants in democracy’s clothing.

… and how’s that workin’ out for ya …

Paul-Cincy on January 8, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Skip the courts, how about filing impeachment.

So the House votes articles of impeachment and the Senate votes to acquit Obama.

Then what?

myiq2xu on January 8, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Democrats’ threat to sue reminds me of an old joke I heard in Russia. Satan visits God in Heaven and offers him to organize a friendly soccer game between the sides.
“You’ll have no chance,” says God, “all the best players are here.”
“Yeah,” responds Satan slyly, “but the refs are all ours.”

Archivarix on January 8, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Question for the Democrats: Exactly how high do you raise the ceiling until you eventually run out of sky? Then what?!!!

Why not just deal with the debt ceiling as it stands right now? Why this continual insistence on the part of Democrats to keep raising the ceiling just so as to garner some breathing room while feebly attempting to delay the inevitable?

pilamaye on January 8, 2013 at 9:21 AM

But how the courts will rule is shrouded in uncertainty because little case law exists to serve as meaningful precedent, say legal scholars.

And herein lies our problem. Everything is based on “case law,” not on what either the Constitution or our actual laws say. It’s all based on what courts say, and have said. If some judge said it 30 years ago, then dammit, we are going to do what he said, ’cause that’s the case law.

Here’s an idea: How about courts stop looking at case law altogether, and decide cases solely based upon what the Constitution and the laws passed by the legislature say. And, heck, here’s an even wackier idea: If something is ambiguous about a law, how about sending it back to the branch of government that writes the laws for clarification, rather than judges just deciding what it means.

Crazy talk, I know.

Shump on January 8, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Hank!!!

Bmore on January 8, 2013 at 9:22 AM

A pattern is developing. Obama says stuff and the Dems and Media make sure it has the ring of truth to it. It is happening in Acedemia all the time. All of a sudden it is just fine for pedophilia to be considered mainstream. It’s OK for gays and lesbians to marry because…….. Obama and Bloomburg can’t wait to confiscate guns. None of this is legal or mainstream, but the Left says it’s so, so it is. When are we going to fight back? When will that happen?

BetseyRoss on January 8, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Shump on January 8, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Case law was based on the once-sane idea that judges are mentally healthy, intelligent, non-partisan, and take their duties seriously.

Archivarix on January 8, 2013 at 9:24 AM

So, if there was a Republican president, in reverse he could refuse to spend what Congress has authorized.

Tater Salad on January 8, 2013 at 9:24 AM

This is all well and good, this is what Democrats do. They can’t legislate, they can’t compromise so they have to make it 2 against one and bring in the judiciary branch.

The stupid party is going to be bombed with negative rhetoric from the President, from the Democrats and from Pravda and Izvestia, we already know that. However, if the Constitution is on their side they have to stop paying attention to all the distractions, pass bills and FORCE the Senate and the President to do a budget. It is required by law and, when the media wing of the Democratic Party (thank you Roget Hedgecock) gets on them, just refer them to Harry Reid and ask him why he hasn’t passed a budget in over 1350 days.

This is going to be the last chance they have because they have a new group in the House, with less margin than they had previously, if they don’t stand up to the Democrats now, they will lose the House next time. No one wants Democrat Lite and people vote for legislators with backbone. Boehner better grow one because he will lose all credibility if they cave on this, maybe not with his caucus but with the voters.

It’s time to get tough.

bflat879 on January 8, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Obama:

“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

” History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.”

Yet as president, Obama unilaterally authorizes military action in Lybia, completely ignoring and bypassing Congress.

Obama doesnt even regard his own words on constitutional and congressional authority. What makes one think he cares about the opinion of others on anything?

Cavalry on January 8, 2013 at 9:32 AM

If we need the USSC to determine how much debt we can incur, then perhaps we are talking about the wrong type of court. No ?

Jabberwock on January 8, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Ed,

You failed to include a key part of the 14th Amendment:
Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

To my understanding, this reinforces the lack of executive branch authority in the debt ceiling issue.

As Congress appropriates the spending by passing a budget, I fail to see how the President and all of these scholars have found this Presidential authority to increase the debt ceiling.

Force his hand by NOT increasing the debt ceiling.

jackal40 on January 8, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Ed Morrissey on January 8, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Steve Eggleston on January 8, 2013 at 9:02 AM

I’d like to accept this award on behalf of Admiral Robert Willard, the commander of the US Pacific Command at the time, who answered:

“We don’t anticipate that.”

lol

Axe on January 8, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Obviously, Jeb Bush is the answer.

beatcanvas on January 8, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Supporters of this newfound presidential power over statute have been pointing to the 14th Amendment, specifically its fourth clause: “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.”

The 5th Clause (actually, it is, specifically, called the Section 5 and the “Fourth Clause” referred to above is called Section 4) states:

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

THE CONGRESS, not the President, not the Executive Branch, not the Treasurer, not the Treasury, not the Court, not the Judiciary…

The public debt is US debt held by the public, which as of this writing is $11,577,454,260,707.67. It is ONLY this debt that “shall not be questioned.” Social Security, Medicare, payroll for the employees of the EPA, food stamps? None of those are considered “public debt.”

Debt Service:

December 2012: $95,736,594,801.52
November 2012: $25,068,968,472.99
October 2012: $12,922,741,407.27

Total for first 3 months of FY2013: $133,728,304,681.78

($133,728,304,681.78: Proggies, that would pay for 1.3 years of food stamps for 50 million Americans, just so that you have an idea how much money we are wasting on debt service. The total in FY2012 spent on servicing the debt was $359,796,008,919.49. Imagine how much it will be in 2017, when Obama leaves office and the national debt is predicted to be, at minimum, $22 trillion. Heaven help us if interest rates go up).

In FY2011, tax revenues were a little more than $2.4 trillion. In February 2012, tax revenues collected were $103.4 billion. In March 2012, tax revenues collected equaled ~$171.2. Debt service in February 2012 was $17.4 billion and in March it was $24.7 billion. The same receipts are expected, at minimum, and outlays for debt service are about the same for February and March as they were last year.

IOW, WE CANNOT DEFAULT ON THE DEBT. BY LAW, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MUST PAY THE DEBT SERVICE FIRST.

Resist We Much on January 8, 2013 at 9:42 AM

No way. I am totally cheering for the platinum coin option. C’mon Obama, do it! You know you want to.

bitsy on January 8, 2013 at 9:42 AM

But did your 8 year old lie about the cause of death of a US ambassador?

blink on January 8, 2013 at 9:07 AM

I’m not sure, I’ve been trying to get the truth from the girl but she keeps claiming her bunions are inflamed and won’t come out of her room.

Bishop on January 8, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Another blue state tactic, when democrats get enough liberal judges on the bench they do whatever they feel like.

Speakup on January 8, 2013 at 9:46 AM

IOW, WE CANNOT DEFAULT ON THE DEBT. BY LAW, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MUST PAY THE DEBT SERVICE FIRST.

Resist We Much on January 8, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Not to be confused with raising the debt ceiling should more debt be required to pay the debt service and additional charges.

Social Security, Medicare, payroll for the employees of the EPA, food stamps? None of those are considered “public debt.”

Explain plz.

Axe on January 8, 2013 at 9:47 AM

“We don’t anticipate that.”

lol

Axe on January 8, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Better yet, he said it with a straight face.
The discipline he demonstrated that day was simply staggering.
No way, I could have held myself in check.

Jabberwock on January 8, 2013 at 9:50 AM

But, crr6 told me here a few years ago that there is no such thing as Activist Democrat Judges.

Del Dolemonte on January 8, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Irrelevant. The US takes in plenty of revenue each month to service the debt. That isn’t the issue. Basically hitting the debt ceiling would require the gov’t to shutdown. To stop paying gov’t employees, stop issuing federal entitlement payments, etc.

Or, for the gov’t to PRIORITIZE what payments it will make with the revenue it DOES get, without spending more than that and having to borrow money. You know, like you would with a budget.

Hitting the debt ceiling does not force the US to default. Someone with serious national credibility needs to get in front of a camera and make this clear to the american public. This crisis does not require the US to default. It just requires the gov’t to only spend the amount of revenue it generates. Which is the way it should work anyhow.

deadrody on January 8, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Social Security, Medicare, payroll for the employees of the EPA, food stamps? None of those are considered “public debt.”

Explain plz.

Public debt is that debt (Treasury notes, bonds) sold by the Treasury to the public (China, Japan, banks). It is NOT intragovernmental debt, such as the IOUs held in the “safety” of the Social Security Trust Fund. By law, public debt may not be questioned. Also, by law, intragovernmental debt may not be sold on the open market – and this is where the farce of the various Trust Funds comes into play.

Let’s take the Social Security Trust Fund. In 1937, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Federal government’s ability to tax for the “general welfare” to provide for old age relief, ie, Social Security, in Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619. The Court also said that the proceeds of both the employee and employer payroll taxes are to be paid into the Treasury like any other internal revenue generally, and are not earmarked in any way. Nevertheless, a sort of fiction was set up where the SSA created a “Trust Fund” that “invested” payroll taxes in “securities” backed with the “full faith and credit of the United States” (IOW, treasuries). Because one government agency is purchasing securities from another, this is called “intragovernmental debt.”

Under the law of payments, debt held by the public – that is, treasuries held in the hands of the public – is secured (as well as it can be) and has priority over all other debt. It must be paid first. It also can be sold by the owner. For example, China can dump all of its US treasuries and there is nothing that the US can do other than warn how badly such a move might affect the global economy.

Intragovernmental debt, on the other hand, is not secured and is only payable as long as the Treasury has funds. By law, it CANNOT be sold on the open market. For example, let’s say that the government shut down for 6 months and there were not Social Security cheques. Unlike Goldman-Sachs, which COULD sell its treasuries, those allegedly fabu IOUs in the Social Security Trust Fund would…wait for…be worthless and remain in the Social Security Trust Fund. Even if the SSA remained open while the rest of the government shut down, IT COULD NOT SELL ITS INTRAGOVERNMENTAL DEBT ON THE OPEN MARKET. THOSE BLESSED IOUs IN THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND ARE ONLY WORTH WHAT THE TREASURY IS ABLE TO PAY FOR THEM. They cannot be sold by the SSA outside of the government on the open market.

Resist We Much on January 8, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Richard Nixon attempted to sequester (refuse to spend money authorized by Congress). The Supreme Court ruled that he did not have that discretion.

FirelandsO3 on January 8, 2013 at 10:08 AM

IOW, WE CANNOT DEFAULT ON THE DEBT. BY LAW, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MUST PAY THE DEBT SERVICE FIRST.

Resist We Much on January 8, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Not to be confused with raising the debt ceiling should more debt be required to pay the debt service and additional charges.

Social Security, Medicare, payroll for the employees of the EPA, food stamps? None of those are considered “public debt.”

Explain plz.

Axe on January 8, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Why ? Are you stupid ? Entitlements are not “debt”. That is simply a fact. And Resist made it plainly clear. The US generates more than $100 Billion in revenue each month. Debt service is no more than $25 Billion. You pay that $25 Billion, the debt is repaid, serviced, taken care of, etc. How you spend the remaining $75 Billion is immaterial to the debt and the debt ceiling. No need to “borrow more” to pay the debt. Simple

deadrody on January 8, 2013 at 10:10 AM

It’s true that based on the US Constitution (at least the part that’s still left after the Owebama care mandate) the USA MUST pay its debts.

Now someone point to me where the US Constitution mandates that Congress must still spend (beyond providing a defense and providing for the common welfare)? Is green energy the “common welfare”? How about buying auto and insurance companies. I guess Roberts could argue that all this spending is for our common welfare…….

We’re SCREWED. But that’s not a new thing. It’s been going on since Nov. 6, 2012.

katablog.com on January 8, 2013 at 10:13 AM

revisionist history is the Ds meme. Sadly, too many Americans Congressman don’t know our founding documents or our history.

CoffeeLover on January 8, 2013 at 8:49 AM

FIFY

HiJack on January 8, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Why ? Are you stupid ?

deadrody on January 8, 2013 at 10:10 AM

If I were stupid, I wouldn’t be able to tell you I was, and if you weren’t stupid, you wouldn’t have asked. I think we understand each other.

Intragovernmental debt, on the other hand, is not secured and is only payable as long as the Treasury has funds. By law, it CANNOT be sold on the open market. For example . . .

Resist We Much on January 8, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Really interesting Resist. Thank you for the typing.

Axe on January 8, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Axe on January 8, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Lol! ; )

Bmore on January 8, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Really interesting Resist. Thank you for the typing.

Axe on January 8, 2013 at 10:16 AM

You’re welcome. There are NO stupid questions coming from you.

deadrody, if you want to see stupid questions statements (we don’t need to ask no steekin’ questions ‘cuz we know all the answers for Obama and Krugman told us so – sing to “Jesus Loves Me”), then look for libenslavedthendie, chump&dumbThreads, somewhere a motherland has lost its idiot, and DAISY, etc.

Resist We Much on January 8, 2013 at 10:36 AM

At that point he and Bernanke essentially run this country, at least until the entire economy implodes.

Doughboy on January 8, 2013 at 9:05 AM

At that point? I think you missed the train leaving the station, friend. Pretty much everything is already in the executive branch’s hands.

GWB on January 8, 2013 at 10:36 AM

RWM rocks. ;)

Is there ANY case law on this at all?

wolly4321 on January 8, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Resist We Much on January 8, 2013 at 10:36 AM

If deadrody gets the Daisy reference, I will be impressed. lol!

Bmore on January 8, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Richard Nixon attempted to sequester (refuse to spend money authorized by Congress). The Supreme Court ruled that he did not have that discretion.

FirelandsO3 on January 8, 2013 at 10:08 AM

That’s what prompted passage of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 which details and governs the budget process and is the law which Harry Reidiculous has been violating for 1,350 days now. Can’t imagine Obamuh refusing to spend money authorized by Congress since he’s so eager to spend money not authorized by Congress–or anyone else.

stukinIL4now on January 8, 2013 at 11:17 AM

The Democrats could try something like that. Then they’d have to try to sell this debt, to buyers who understand that when Obama loses in court, they will lose all their money, because the debt instruments they bought won’t be valid.

How high will the interest rate have to be to get people to buy that debt? Have fun, Dems

Greg Q on January 8, 2013 at 11:45 AM

We haven’t actually had a budget in years. How is that legal?

rhombus on January 8, 2013 at 11:56 AM

But how the courts will rule is shrouded in uncertainty because little case law exists to serve as meaningful precedent, say legal scholars.

Yeah. “Legal scholars”. They might have to fall back and read that nasty ol’ Constitution.

GarandFan on January 8, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Democrats will do what they want. Democrat judges will allow it because. Democrat voters will LOVE the abuse of power because they want such abuses when they benefit from them.

Rule of law is dead. We already ignore the Constitution regularly and democrats love it. More lefties are imported, some holding signs calling for the death of America, and our children are indoctrinated.

Maybe it is too late but I have small children. I have to fight and the ballot box is not enough.

The fight must be taken to the media first and then the schools (school choice) and wherever else is necessary.

Organize, coordinate or be wiped out.

GardenGnome on January 8, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Whether one likes it or not, the debt limit belongs to Congress. The President can neither borrow or spend without authorization from the legislative branch.

Meh. What do a bunch of old dead white guys know, anyway.

tom on January 8, 2013 at 12:27 PM

So Democrats are now actively advertising their status as the Outlaw Party? The Party that operates in knowing violation of the law, constrained only by the rulings of our courts?

What happens when Democrats decide they don’t have to listen to the courts, either?

Socratease on January 8, 2013 at 1:46 PM

RWM rocks. ;) Is there ANY case law on this at all?

wolly4321 on January 8, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Sorry that I didn’t get back to your earlier. I had an appointment this afternoon. Thx for the “rocks.”

As to your question, not completely on point (of course, we’ve never had anyone propose to mint a $1 trillion coin out of thin air either), but Perry v. United States, 294 U.S. 330 (1935), makes it clear that it is CONGRESS’ power, not the President’s power to borrow money on the credit of the United States, etc.

Resist We Much on January 8, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Democrats want courts involved in debt-limit standoff

…when you pack ‘em….you want to use ‘em!

KOOLAID2 on January 8, 2013 at 9:31 PM