Trump's Claim of 'Total' Authority Fails to Fly with Nation's Governors

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tags: Donald Trump, coronavirus, COVID-19, Federalism

Trump is eager to get the nation back to some kind of normalcy as soon as possible, in the hope that doing so would ameliorate the worst economic effects of the crisis — and, in the process, boost his reelection prospects in November.

But groups of predominantly Democratic governors — one group in the Northeast and one on the West Coast — have banded together to coordinate their response to the crisis. In the process, they have sparked a power struggle with Trump, who appeared furious at what he seemed to see as a usurpation.

But experts are adamant that he simply does not have the power to countermand governors’ stay-at-home orders.

“There is no doubt at all that he doesn’t have the power to do this,” said Claire Finkelstein, a professor and faculty director of the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law at the University of Pennsylvania.

Finkelstein explained: “The governors issued the stay-at-home orders, so only the governors can remove those orders. These orders are not President Trump’s, nor could they be. The governors have authority over the health, welfare and safety of the citizens of their respective states.”

But the clarity of the law, as experts like Finkelstein see it, does not necessarily stop the president from taking action as part of a political strategy — even if his efforts might have a very limited chance of prevailing in the courts.

Read entire article at The Hill

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