A Kavanaugh SCOTUS Could Expand Trump’s Power to Fire Civil Servants
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by Countable | 8.7.18
What’s the story?
- If judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court, President Donald Trump may gain the power to hire and fire civil servants at will.
- Kavanaugh, Justice Neil Gorsuch, and Trump all believe in an expansive view of presidential power.
- As NPR explained, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh “have long believed that presidential powers have been unconstitutionally weakened over most of the last century.”
- The two subscribe to the idea of “Unitary Executive,” which says a POTUS has the right to function as a kind of CEO of the executive branch, firing – for whatever reason – the heads of various executive agencies.
What are both sides saying?
- University of Texas law professor Steven Vladeck explained to NPR that quasi-independent agencies - like the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission – are able to do their jobs because they’re “not subject to the moment-to-moment political whims of the White House.”
"If that changes, I think we'd see a huge shift in how the federal government does its job," Vladeck said, "and more perniciously, we'd see a further politicization of just about every decision that the federal government is making."
- Kavanaugh, however, has “definitely highlighted the problems inherent in taking administrative power and disconnecting it, at least in part, from the president's oversight," said Adam White of the conservative Hoover Institution. NPR added that Kavanaugh has “clearly suggested that a president ought to be able to fire anyone performing executive functions, based solely on policy differences.”
What do you think?
Do you subscribe to the “Unitary Executive” theory? What questions do you want your senators asking Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing? Hit Take Action and let them know, then share your thoughts below.
(Photo Credit: Social News Daily / Creative Commons)
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