Elie Mystal if the Editor of the Above The Law Blog.

“This afternoon, Donald Trump is expected to announce that he will take illegal action to force a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, in defiance of a Supreme Court order for additional litigation on the issue. For a president who has often hinted that he would ignore court orders he didn’t like, this will be his first action directly in violation of the legal limitations of his office.

It’s a constitutional crisis, because one branch of our government is defying another branch of our government. But it’s also something Trump has trained people to expect and accept. Trump and his administration have violated Constitutional norms since the moment they’ve taken office. The Republicans slavishly support him and the media, for the most part, parrots his message. You’ll see it today, as many reports will pretend there is some “confusion” about Trump’s power, as opposed to accurately reporting that he’s violating a court order just as surely as a person who jumps bail.

On the other side of the ball, establishment Democrats are sure to be as bumfuzzled as ever by this latest presidential wedgie to the rule of law. We’ll get press conferences and speeches. Promises to “fight,” even though Trump’s open defiance of the Supreme Court should tell us just how little paper laws mean to him. Eventually they’ll throw up their hands, blame women of color for being too mouthy about it all, and move onto Infrastructure Week.

The order to include a citizenship question on the Census is an illegal order. Those who follow it should be arrested. Those who promulgate it should be arrested. The document itself should have no legal relevance — it’s now no more actionable than a BuzzFeed poll. The real Census will be coming late this cycle, based on the executive branch’s refusal to issue a legal document. The man who ordered the taking of an illegal Census should be impeached for his attempt to usurp the rule of law, in violation of his oath of office.”

I wish leadership would do something and surprise me, but I am past all hope of that.

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5 Comments on "Trump’s Gonna Break the Law (Again) and Elie Mystal Tells It Like It Is."

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Could I just ask, before we start putting out divisive narratives about “mouthy women of color,” exactly what can be done? What can Congress do as a whole? What can the courts do? What is the mechanism to stop this? What can Democrats do to block this on their own with Republican cooperation? I am asking in all sincerity because I don’t know — and, I suspect, either does “AOC.” If she can explain precisely what steps can be taken to prevent this, I’m all ears. Sassy retorts on Twitter won’t get the job done.


Also, why is your “like” function not working? It opens a new window that says “tap to go back to Politizoom.com,” but doesn’t record your “like.”

E.Mystal is correct. Trump will continue to establish himself as an “(s)elected” dictator and openly defy the SCOTUS. Pelosi, Schumer & the sell-out cowardly Dems will do NOTHING; maybe complain for a day and that question, which we all know is racist, will be added. Already the cable networks are “spinning” trump’s actions as if his Executive Order is “legal” because “this is what the president wants” and “he is playing to his base” and “he just wants to fight with the Dems.” The commentaries are SICKENING and so cowardly. And then there’s this mysterious “poll” that cable news pundits… Read more »
P J Evans

I suggest going outside for a walk to calm down and clear your head. You sound as off the wall as a lot of the RW commenters elseweb, especially with your insults of Democrats. (BTW, citations help a lot when you’re quoting news media.)

rory darjiit

I like Elie’s rants. I do wish he’d used his legal expertise to expand a bit on his recommendations.

“Those who follow it [an illegal order] should be arrested.” I’d like to hear more. What laws are they breaking? What’s the penalty? Who has jurisdiction? I’m not sure if this is simply harsh rhetoric, or a legitimate sanction.