Stephen Maseda | Crisis vs. Disagreement

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Duane Mooring (Letters, Feb. 27) makes two assertions, neither of which is correct. The first is that due process is not expected in confirmation hearings, because it is a “job interview,” a trope offered by the left in connection with the (Brett) Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. Yet, all witnesses in the hearings are sworn to tell the truth, all are subject to cross-examination by committee members or lawyers whom they appoint for that purpose, all have the rights granted every witness under the 4th and 5th amendments to the Constitution, and all can be compelled to testify and charged with perjury if they lie. It does not sound like any job interview I ever attended.  Sounds a lot like due process. (As for whether Christine Blasey Ford was a credible witness, that was the very issue to be determined.)

Finally, Mr. Mooring asserts that there is a “huge constitutional crisis” as a result of the president’s emergency declaration. As is typical, no basis for this assertion is set forth, other than the apparent disagreement of the writer to the declaration. However, Congress enacted a statute authorizing the president to declare national emergencies, which broadly defines what constitutes such emergencies, leaving it initially to the president’s determination. As the Supreme Court has noted, a president’s constitutional authority to act is strongest when he acts pursuant to the authority of Congress, as the president has done here. That statute also provides the mechanism to set aside a declaration which Congress believes is improperly declared — Congress can pass a resolution setting the declaration aside, as the House of Representatives has done. The Senate is required to vote on the resolution (it is not subject to filibuster), and if passed it goes to the president for signature. 

Given that the president is exercising the authority granted by Congress, and Congress has begun the steps statutorily provided to set aside the declaration, I fail to see the constitutional crisis Mr. Mooring asserts. What I see is a declaration with which he disagrees. There is a difference. 

Stephen Maseda


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