David B. Rivkin, Jr., an attorney who served in the Department of Justice during the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, said the DOJ would never advise the president to use the 14th amendment as a legal run-around on the debt ceiling.
“It’s so absurd,” Rivkin said. “It is an empty threat. Not even a threat, it is a legal impossibility. … It’s not just a question of opinion, it’s a question of case law.”…
“I wouldn’t call it empty [as a threat] because there are some legal authorities who seem to think it has some merit,” said Robert A. Levy, chairman of the Cato Institute.
“I do think politically it’s a dead issue,” Levy said, because “there’s no political upside.” The president would end up under fire for circumventing Congress, and would likely face a drawn-out legal battle.