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Decision 2024

The Imperial Presidency

So let us now stop preaching to other countries about respect for the rule of law, free and fair elections, and the importance of a system of checks and balances.


The US Supreme Court’s July 1 decision to grant absolute immunity to a President’s official acts is indeed, as Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) wrote on X, “a sad day for America” and “our democracy.” Donald Trump and future presidents are evidently now free to follow their worst instincts if they don’t like the result of elections—or anything else. 

Absent any guardrails, presidents, by claiming they are acting in their official capacities, may incite insurrections, order the justice department to detain critics and round up aliens, declare elections invalid, and ignore Congress if it doesn’t follow his will—for instance on Social Security and abortion. The Court’s ruling is borderline insanity, feeding the impulsiveness, delusions, and vengefulness that define Donald Trump.

Who is to say that such acts are not part of the President’s official duties? And if challenged on once-illegal decisions, will a Supreme Court have the will to deny the President his imperial prerogatives? 

Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s blistering dissent makes plain that the Court’s decision “reshapes the institution of the presidency,” makes the president a king, and discards the sacred principle that no one is above the law. The President no longer has limits on what he might demand of the justice department—once upon a time independent of the executive branch—or of an underling, up to and including ordering the assassination of an opponent.

 The Supreme Court’s decision sullies the oath of office a President takes. It is no longer meaningful that the President swears to protect and defend the Constitution. Nor can a President’s vows to defend the nation against “enemies, foreign and domestic” be taken at face value when now, a President may act against those he considers “enemies of the people.” Trump has told us who they are: members of the media, certain judges, and former officials in his previous administration who have turned against him.

 The Court has thus given new meaning to “imperial presidency.” That term came into widespread use at the height of the Vietnam War. Courts at every level have traditionally upheld expansions of presidential power, citing national security. Now that deference has become carte blanche for “official acts” that go far beyond national security, posing great risks to democratic institutions. The six "conservative" justices who have granted Trump a wide path to criminality seem oblivious to those risks.

Immunizing a President from the rule of law has consequences abroad. American exceptionalism has taken a beating for a long time. Now we can bury it. We’re not the “shining light” our founders had hoped we would be. 

So let us now stop preaching to other countries about respect for the rule of law, free and fair elections, and the importance of a system of checks and balances. We’re on a path to becoming another banana republic, an American version of far-right autocracies that are spreading throughout Europe. A thoroughly politicized Supreme Court is just the start of America’s de-democratization--open for business, responsive to the most illiberal forces in society, and amenable to strong-man rule.

 Conceivably, the district court that ruled against Trump’s claim of absolute immunity will do so again based on his illegal “unofficial” acts. But any such outcome will be subject to new litigation and, if Trump wins in November, to dismissal. 

All the more reason why this election will be a turning point in American history. Liberals, progressives, and independents must unite to prevent a far-right victory in Congress as well as in the White House. An independent judiciary and specifically an incorruptible Supreme Court should be a major theme of Democrats. 

The other side is inventing new rules of law. There is no time to lose.


Mel Gurtov, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University and blogs at In the Human Interest.

President Trump's message

July 4, 2024

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! – Happy Independence Day!

As Joe Biden’s failed policies plunge the world deeper and deeper into turmoil, both at home and abroad, we can be thankful for the enduring spirit of the American people. As President Trump said, “America’s destiny is in our sights. America’s heroes are embedded in our hearts. America’s future is in our hands. And ladies and gentlemen, the best is yet to come.”

Now is our nation’s time to shine again by making sure this will be Joe Biden’s last Fourth of July in the White House. It’s time to Make America Great Again by reelecting President Trump in November!

INFLATION NATION HITS THE FOURTH – This is the most expensive Fourth of July on record thanks to Bidenflation. The cost of a Fourth of July cookout is up 5 percent from 2023 and up 30 percent from five years ago.

From last year:

  • Ground beef is up 11 percent
  • Hamburger buns are up 7 percent
  • Lemonade is up 12 percent
  • Ice cream is up 7 percent
  • Chips are up 8 percent 

And that’s if you can afford to even get to the barbecue. Gas prices are averaging $3.50per gallon and expected to rise while hotel prices are up 13 percent from 2019.

Remember when Biden bragged about the price of an Independence Day barbecue? That aged the opposite of well. “Bidenomics” has hit yet another American celebration! With prices soaring across the board, American families are struggling to keep up. Come November, Americans will celebrate their independence from “Bidenomics.” For all facts and figures click here.

NO INDEPENDENCE FROM STICKER SHOCK – Experienced sticker shock when you went to the grocery store to prepare for today? Blame Biden. Andy Puzder explains why in a new op-ed.

Some key lines:

  • “One in five shoppers are skipping meals to save money thanks to Bidenflation…The American Farm Bureau's annual 4th of July market-basket survey for this year shows a 30% increase since 2019 in the costs for 4th of July cookout staples. No one who has been to a grocery store can ignore that.” 
  • “According to the Food Industry Association’s 2024 Food Prices & the Consumer report, 70% of shoppers are concerned with rising prices at grocery stores, with 39% ‘extremely concerned.’ The Advantage 2024 Shopper Outlook survey found that over half of shoppers ‘have reduced how much they buy.’” 
  • “The Biden administration has no realistic plan to get inflation under control – none. Despite inflationary pressures, the Biden administration’s spending continues like an uncapped fire hose. So, inflation remains – as the Fed chairman likes to say – ‘sticky,’ keeping interest rates high and making home purchases – or anything where you need a loan – unaffordable. And Biden continues to spend like a drunken sailor.  Actually, that's an insult to drunken sailors. I apologize.”
  • “Bidenomics spending is driving inflation, the economy and prosperity for American families over a financial cliff. Given how bad this is, you would be forgiven for believing either that no one with any sense is in charge or that our economy is in the hands of a group of extremists determined to undermine America’s economy and position in the world.”  

Read the full op-ed here.

THE BEST IS YET TO COME – President Trump has a plan to Make America Great Again, grounded in timeless American principles that unite our country! Watch the video here.

WHERE’S THE APOLOGY – Team Trump recently outlined 50 times that Democrats lied about Biden’s cognitive decline, and those 50 times were just the tip of the iceberg.

Democrats – and the fake news media – are culpable in one of the largest political scandals in American history. They have lost all credibility, and worse, they have put the security of this country in danger by lying about Biden’s ability to do the job. They have disqualified themselves from higher office through their lies.