February 10th, 2017

Is there a possibility that even King Mob I (President Andrew Jackson) might advise King Mob II that he’s going to far in confronting the judiciary and criticizing the obligation of the branch to exercise the checks and balances defined by our Constitution? Jackson infamously took on the Supreme Court Of The United States’ decision in McCulloch v. Maryland.

Jeffrey Rosen, writing in Not Even Andrew Jackson Went as Far as Trump in Attacking the Courts for The Atlantic, explains:

President Trump’s attacks on the federal appellate judges considering a constitutional challenge to his immigration ban—he called the proceedings “disgraceful” and the courts “so political”—has provoked widespread condemnation from across the political spectrum. Even Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, said the criticisms were “demoralizing” and “disheartening.”

Some might look for a historical precedent for Trump’s attacks in the alleged comments of Trump’s hero Andrew Jackson, who criticized Chief Justice John Marshall’s decision in a case involving the Cherokee Indians. “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it,” the former president allegedly said. In fact, Jackson, whose portrait hangs in Trump’s office, provides no historical support for Trump’s unprecedented personal assault on the motives of judges evaluating the constitutionality of his executive orders. Jackson criticized Marshall on constitutional, rather than political, terms, and he ultimately required Congress and the states to acknowledge the Supreme Court’s authority to interpret the Constitution, rather than threaten to disregard it.

Jackson’s constitutional clashes with Marshall were precipitated by the most important constitutional clash of the early republic, involving the Bank of the United States. At Alexander Hamilton’s urging, Congress established the First National Bank of the United States in 1791 and the Second National Bank in 1816. States, who feared competition with their own banks, insisted that the National Bank violated principles of federalism and exceeded Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce.

Rosen concludes

:…Nothing in Jackson’s constitutional legacy compares with President Trump’s attempts to malign the motives of individual judges or to suggest they are merely politicians in robes. On the contrary, Jackson challenged the Supreme Court on constitutional, rather than political, grounds, insisting on his own power to interpret the Constitution in ways that differed from Chief Justice Marshall, but ultimately avoiding a direct conflict with the Supreme Court and requiring Congress and the states to accept the authority of federal judges to expound the Constitution. For this reason, Jackson—like other presidents who clashed with the Supreme Court, including Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry Truman—preserved and acknowledged the independence of the judiciary and encouraged citizens to respect it.

Does Trump really want this fight, or is this really Steve Bannon pulling the strings again?

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