"Hereby" and Orders

As the President should have learned during his attempt to ban trans* servicemembers by Tweet, comments on Twitter do not constitute a lawful order even when you have otherwise lawful authority. On this occasion, I'm not at all clear on the degree of lawful authority that exists via more formal processes. Probably there is some sort of authority, held over from World War II and/or World War I, to issue orders even to privately-held American companies in a time of war. Of course, we are not in fact at war.

Here again, as with the birthright citizenship stuff and for that matter the trans* servicemember ban, the President may be broadly right on the desirable policy. I'm reasonably sanguine about a trade war with China. It will hurt, but it will hurt them more, and they can less afford it. It may expose the structural faults in their economy, which are much more severe than anyone really wants to admit. If so, it may cripple Chinese power designs via mass investment projects like the "New Silk Road." Even if not, it may weaken their hand to undertake new oppression against Hong Kong, and may limit the resources they have for their ongoing cultural genocide against the Uighur in what they like to call their New Frontier ("Xinjiang"). This may be the most we can do for the freedom fighters there, given China's powerful nuclear umbrella. Possibly even some of the longer-term positive effects may come to pass that the President, and some others, have decided can be gained on this road. I'm agnostic about that; but breaking totalitarian China is worth the candle. Humanity may long thank us for once again paying the price to break another totalitarian system of authority that has been creeping out further and further.

President Trump still has to be held to constitutional and legal limits on his power. Even if one trusts him (which not everyone does, to put it mildly), the forms exist to restrain the ones you don't trust who may get their hands on that power later. That might come any day, as health is uncertain for anyone, and he is engendering enemies both wealthy and powerful with these moves.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

He has the power in a state of emergency. He would have to first declare one, then declare an additional order about a company doing business with China.

Dad29 said...

AVI has it. There's a 1977 law which allows this action.