On the third day of confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson take the opportunity to explain a memorable line from a 2019 opinion piece regarding the impeachment inquiry into then-President Donald Trump.
Democratic Party Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff give Jackson’s opinion in a case involving a former White House adviser Don McGahnwho is seeking to avoid hearing before the House of Representatives about Trump in connection with the investigation into alleged abuse of power by Trump and obstruction of Congress.
“[T]He draws the fundamental lesson from 250 years of recorded American history that a President is not a king,” said Jackson. wrote at the time.
On Wednesday, Ossoff asked Jackson for an explanation of that claim.
“You, in a widely cited opinion piece, made the claim that ‘the president is not a king,’” Ossoff said. What that means, and some of the key signs of our constitutional system against the abuse of executive power, against tyranny?”
Jackson says the system itself is designed to protect against such abuses of power.
“Our constitutional plan, our government design, was designed to prevent tyranny,” Jackson said. “The framers decided, after going through monarchy, autocracy, and the like, that they would form a government that would divide the powers of a monarch in various ways. . One is federalism. Vertically, they would divide power between the federal government and the states. Another measure is to prevent the federal government from becoming too powerful, without all the authorities, without the legislative, executive and judicial powers in one place.”
After the constitutional amendment decentralization– where Article 1 empowers Congress to legislate, Article 2 establishes the Executive Branch and Article 3 orders the Judiciary to interpret the law – Jackson repeated what she said several times during hearings bare her confirmation: that she is bound by the written establishment of the document.
“The separation of powers is crucial to freedom,” says Jackson. “That is what our country was founded on, and it is important to be consistent with my judicial approach, so that each branch operates within its own sphere. That means for me judges can’t make laws. Judges should not be policy makers. It is part of our constitutional design and prevents our government from being too powerful and infringing on individual liberties.”
Jackson’s language on Wednesday was simpler than what she wrote in McGahn’s view. After noting that “the president is not the king,” Jackson wrote:
This means that they have no object, bound by allegiance or bloodline, with which they have control over their destiny. Rather, in this land of freedom, it is indisputable that current and former White House employees work for the American People, and they take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. Furthermore, as US citizens, current and former senior aides to the president have constitutional rights, including the right to free speech, and they retain these rights even after has turned to a private life.
In 2021, Jackson upheld the ruling from the US District Judge Tanya Chutkan which also uses a variant of the memorable line.
“The President is not the king, and the plaintiff is not the President,” Chutkan Written in November 2021, the comments denied Trump’s attempt to prevent the National Archives from submitting documents to the House investigative committee on January 6.
[Image via screengrab.]
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https://lawandcrime.com/supreme-court/judge-ketanji-brown-jackson-tells-committee-what-she-meant-by-presidents-are-not-kings-ruling-against-trumps-ex-white-house-counsel/ Jackson explains ‘The president is not a king’ from his time in office in 2019