I don’t think we have entered a constitutional crisis. I think for all intents and purposes we are already past it, because of the ineffectual response to Trump’s autocratic behavior.
On February 15, he brazenly abrogated Congress’s appropriations power with this diversion of funds for his “border wall.” Presidential Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border.
On March 15, he vetoed Congress’s downvote of that emergency. Trump Issues First Veto After Congress Rejects Border Emergency.
On March 26, the House failed to override Trump’s veto: House fails to override Trump veto on Southern Border Emergency.
The House did not file suit until April 5. It requested an injunction to stop the President from acting unilaterally. SCOTUS did not “fast-track” the request for injunction. Trump responded to the House’s request last week asking the court to reject the House Lawsuit. Trump Administration Urges Judge to Reject House Lawsuit on Border Wall.
We are now three months past the emergency declaration and action to stop Trump is on the proverbial slow boat to China. By the time the Supreme Court rules, the 2020 election will probably have already passed.
So, tell me, exactly why should any President whose party controls at least 1/3 of either House of Congress simply bypass any Congressional opposition to anything by declaring states of emergency?
Future democratic Presidents might still refrain from doing so, but it is crystal clear to me that, the precedent having been set, future GOP Presidents will pursue this route at will. Such actions are what makes up an autocracy.
We also have the specter of GOP Senators openly telling a witness to ignore a subpoena issued BY ONE OF THEIR OWN PARTY’S SENATORS. Graham Tells Don Jr. To Ignore Senate Intel Subpoena: “You Don’t Need To Go.”
And, of course, Trump is simply refusing to honor any subpoena issued by the House.
Again a future democratic President might play nice; but once again the precedent having been set, future GOP Presidents will simply employ this strategy across the board.
Bottom line we are not “approaching” a crisis, we are in crisis. The precedents for future GOP Presidential autocracy have already been set and they will be followed. We are passing out of the Constitutional rule of law right now.
The burden may rest with John Roberts who cares about his legacy as Chief Justice and has shown such in previous decisions. He will have to decide whether he wants to go down in history as the Chief Justice who cast the deciding vote to de facto end the American Republic.