Unconstitutional Appropriations – Trump demands the Trifecta
If you think politicians should observe the written conditions of the U.S. Constitution, then you might agree with me that a second shut down would be better than what’s going on with Trump’s current threats. The compromise appropriation passed by Congress and signed into law by Trump followed the requirements in Article I of the constitution exactly. For Trump to threaten to take appropriated funds for his personal appropriations bluntly and crudely violates one of the simple and plain English restrictions written into the Constitution. The restriction says
“No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; . . .”
Some constitutional phrases allow or require interpretation; leave room for the creative cloudy thinking judges and politicians love to do. Not here; not with this one. Funds appropriated go into a budget and fund specific departments and agencies of the government. The constitution does not permit taking appropriated funds and spending them on unappropriated projects. Changes require a supplemental appropriation signed into law.
We might suppose members of Congress, House and Senate, would object to having their constitutional authority erased as so much irrelevant nothing. The emergency excuse is irrelevant even with an emergency since federal appropriations already fund emergency response agencies and we have armed forces ready to respond.
I would expect patriotic members of Congress would abandon their partisan politics to make a unanimous vote to end this unconstitutional threat to our institutions and constitution. They only need two-thirds, which neuters those who refuse to agree English words mean what they mean.
Next in the separation of powers we have the third branch of government: the federal courts. I would expect all patriotic members of the federal bench to agree English words mean what they mean. For the courts to fail to stop this unconstitutional nonsense a district court judge, then two of three appeals court justices and five members of the Supreme Court must fail to do the duty they took an oath to do.
For Trump to get his way requires a complete Trifecta of constitutional failure; a breakdown of all three branches of government. We can hope it doesn’t happen, but I hear some nervous tremors from those who say it won’t.