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The Imperial Presidency is Here – Long Live the King!

The Imperial Presidency is no longer rhetoric, but fact.[1] The Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision grants Trump immunity and assures that Trump or any future autocratic President will become America’s first “king.”

 

Over the last decade Republicans laid the foundation for the imperial presidency through groups like the Heritage Foundation[2] and the Federalist Society[3].

 

The Trump policy document Project 2025 is clear in stating that “[t]he great challenge confronting a conservative President is the existential need for aggressive use of the vast powers of the executive branch…”[4]

 

In the 17th century the ordinary meaning of “executive power” re­ferred unambiguously to a single, discrete authority: the power to execute law.[5]  Section 3, Article II of the Constitution requires the President to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”[6]

 

But under the Supreme Court’s decision the imperial president now has the authority and absolute discretion to literally take any action they want as long as it is cloaked in the language of an official act. This is the power of kings, autocrats, and dictators.

 

Justice Sotomayor elegantly summarizes the situation writing that the Court’s decision “makes a mockery of the principle, foundational to our Constitution and system of Government, that no man is above the law.”[7]

 

Justice Brown Jackson wrote, “[t]o say that someone is immune from criminal prosecution is to say that, like a King, he ‘is not under the coercive power of the law,’ which ‘will not suppose him capable of committing a folly, much less a crime.’”[8]

 

Justice Sotomayor added “[i]n every use of official power, the President is now a king above the law.”[9]

 

The Republican dream of the imperial president is now a reality and the potential for abuse is at our doorstep.

 

If re-elected, Trump promises to be a dictator on day one, use the department of justice to prosecute his “enemies, and invoke the Insurrection Act to take control of elections.

 

The federal government will not be operating on behalf of the people of the United States during a prospective second Trump term; it will be operating on behalf of Trump.

 

Democracy is dead. Long live the King!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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