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What is the argument that hte 14th Amendment can solve the debt crisis?


mspart

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14th Amendment was passed as a result of the civil war soon after that war.   It is dealing with effects from that war.   But because it is now part of the Constitution, it is not limited to civil war times or eras.   It still applies to our condition today.  Hence the idea that the 14th Amendment can be used to solve the debt ceiling crisis.   Here are the pertinent passages from the amendment.

Section 4.  The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.  But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

For those so inclined, explain how this passage can be used to resolve the debt crisis we are currently heading towards or explain how it cannot be used.   I am confused about the use of this.   I think the calculus is that they can say it, do an executive order and make it happen before SCOTUS says they can't.   They already made it happen which is how Biden is hoping to do the student debt relief.  It is a dirty trick that should not be used.  It makes the President both Legislative and Executive, which is not a good thing for a democracy or republic. 

I'm inclined to disagree with the use of the 14th amendment for the debt ceiling purpose but don't have a strong opinion either way on this one.  I know it has been cited that scholars disagree on using this but the admin seems to like it.  Looking to learn from all you wrestling/constitutional experts out there!!

mspart

 

 

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On 5/24/2023 at 7:05 PM, mspart said:

14th Amendment was passed as a result of the civil war soon after that war.   It is dealing with effects from that war.   But because it is now part of the Constitution, it is not limited to civil war times or eras.   It still applies to our condition today.  Hence the idea that the 14th Amendment can be used to solve the debt ceiling crisis.   Here are the pertinent passages from the amendment.

Section 4.  The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.  But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

 

 

For those so inclined, explain how this passage can be used to resolve the debt crisis we are currently heading towards or explain how it cannot be used.   I am confused about the use of this.   I think the calculus is that they can say it, do an executive order and make it happen before SCOTUS says they can't.   They already made it happen which is how Biden is hoping to do the student debt relief.  It is a dirty trick that should not be used.  It makes the President both Legislative and Executive, which is not a good thing for a democracy or republic. 

I'm inclined to disagree with the use of the 14th amendment for the debt ceiling purpose but don't have a strong opinion either way on this one.  I know it has been cited that scholars disagree on using this but the admin seems to like it.  Looking to learn from all you wrestling/constitutional experts out there!!

mspart

 

 

That's clear as mud.  I'm certainly no Constitutional expert but I  think I can read.  Yeah, I  can't vaguely imagine how that applies to today's federal debt crisis or even more, how it would "solve" it.  We all know the solution,  but nobody wants to do it.  The federal debt is something everybody wants to blame on "the other guys".  Even more, I certainly understand your concern that someone would/could unilaterally use this for something it clearly wasn't intended for.  

The bigger question, Art, is... Are you sure you want to open the can of worms that is, how applicable is this document, and its ammendments, in some cases from 200+ years ago, in today's world?

This reminds me of a time probably about 25 years ago I was listening to the radio.  On the news was a story about how the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to deny a father to be in the hospital room when a woman was giving birth.  I thought what the heck is there in the Constitution about that!  (As I remember, the mother and father had split up and she didn't want him there.)  Lots of people squawking "Constitutional" or "unconstitutional" when all they're really saying is this is the way I want things to be.  It's way too often used as a crutch.  

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How applicable is the Constitution to today?  Emminently applicable.   The Founders were students of human nature and wrote the Constitution to ensure, as long as was possible, a representative form of government that would ensure the liberty of their posterity.   They did a pretty good job.   No doubt there have been folks that have tried to circumvent the Constitution all the way to Presidents doing Executive Orders in lieu of the legislative process.   Nobody blinks at those, but those are exactly the kinds of things that the Founders warned against with this document.   Too much power in one theater is too much power wielded.  We certainly are at in imbalance of power as designed by the Founders. 

I agree, I don't see how the 14th Amendment helps out the current debt crisis. 

mspart

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