I am amazed by many of the reasons some would-be supporters of the Republican party have given for withdrawing their support for Donald Trump, especially in light of their affirmation that a Hilary Clinton presidency would be disastrous. These reasons include things such as his joke about John McCain not being a war hero because he “got caught,” his calling a former Miss Universe contestant “fat,” and the recently released 2005 recording in which he is heard making lewd comments about women—to name but a few.
With all due respect, I find this approach to be severely misguided. While we can all agree that many of his comments are indefensible, I cannot see why that should warrant denouncing him as a POTUS candidate. To my mind, the only question that needs to be asked is, Who will be a better president? To answer this question, we must first know the job description of POTUS.
The Take Care Clause—also known as the Faithful Execution Clause—sets out the main responsibility of the Chief Executive: to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Art. II, § 3. Thus, the President’s *main* role is in executing, or carrying out, the laws of the country. He may do this by giving directions to other officers of the executive branch—e.g., the Attorney General—or removing these officers from their posts. This clause does not mean that the President is without discretion or that he is a mere overseer of the execution of laws; the President has broad discretion over how and when to enforce the law.
So, which candidate is more likely to better fulfill this duty? No honest, sober-minded person could keep a straight face and say that Hilary Clinton is more likely to faithfully enforce the Laws. Notwithstanding FBI Director James Comey’s inexplicable decision not to recommend that the DOJ prosecute Clinton for mishandling classified information, the FBI report contains numerous examples of Clinton’s blatant disregard for the law.1https://vault.fbi.gov/hillary-r.-clinton/hillary-r.-clinton-part-01-of-03/view Moreover, it’s obvious how she feels about perjury2http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/clintons-handling-of-classified-information/ and obstruction of justice3http://www.factcheck.org/2016/09/the-fbi-files-on-clintons-emails/ laws as well.
If her actions weren’t evidence enough, we also have her statements that make explicit her intention to ignore immigration laws.4https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/immigration-reform/ She makes clear her plan to protect and expand President Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional DACA and DAPA executive actions that give millions of illegal immigrants social security numbers, work authorization, travel authorization, eligibility for benefits, and tax credits in violation of the United States law. Doubtless I could list numerous other laws that she would probably refuse to faithfully enforce.
I’m only going to mention one other constitutional duty bestowed upon POTUS that I find relevant to the discussion: the president “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint . . . Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for . . .” Art. II, § 2. The president nominates *all* federal judges in the judicial branch and specified officers in cabinet-level departments, independent agencies, the military services, the Foreign Service and uniformed civilian services, as well as U.S. attorneys and U.S. marshals.
Since the Republican-led Congress has made clear that they have no intention of utilizing the “power of the purse” or the impeachment process to check a lawless Executive Branch, the only thing standing in the way of an unlawful POTUS is the Supreme Court of The United States of America. In addition to the vacancy left by the passing of the great Justice Scalia, the next POTUS could potentially nominate another 3 members to the highest court in the nation—Justices Ginsburg, Kennedy and Breyer are 83, 80, and 78, respectively. That is a scary thought. Hilary Clinton has made it clear that she has no desire to nominate Justices whose judicial philosophy adheres to the Constitution. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has pledged to do just that.5https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j.-trump-releases-list-of-names-of-potential-united-states-supreme-c
Moreover, as Congressman Trey Gowdy has aptly noted, for everyone who is fed up with the lawless DOJ, this election is your opportunity to clean house. A Hilary Clinton DOJ will undoubtedly look no different from a Barack Obama DOJ; but a Donald Trump DOJ would be vastly different.
In sum, selecting a POTUS candidate is vastly different from selecting a potential member of the Legislature: lawmakers should be those who share your values; while POTUS should be one who will best fulfill his/her constitutional duties.
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