Political Editors / September 21, 2021

In Brief: Will Courts Stop Biden’s Imperial Presidency?

Biden will need to convince the country, and thus the Court, that we are still in a real crisis.

Since the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, (primarily Democrat) politicians have used it as an excuse to grab power. Joe Biden won the presidency largely because Democrats and the Leftmedia convinced so many Americans that Donald Trump had mishandled a crisis. Biden did so much better from his Delaware basement.

As for Biden’s imperial decrees as president, however, Andrew McCarthy wonders how much longer he can keep going without a serious rebuke from the courts.

The history of the United States, insofar as concerns the vitality of civil rights in times of crisis, can be summed up succinctly. While a crisis ensues, when there is a real perception of threat to our security, the courts give the executive a wide berth.

They don’t exactly turn a blind eye. It’s more like slow-walking. Cases claiming infringement of fundamental liberties may be rushed into the justice system during a crisis, but courts will proceed cautiously.

He walks through the history of various instances of crisis in the courts, including COVID restrictions, revealing that indeed courts often do give latitude in an emergency. “Things change, though, when the sense of peril ebbs,” McCarthy notes. The Supreme Court began striking down some regulations, and bitingly so. That means Biden’s primary job will be prolonging the “crisis.”

Of course, it is fair enough to point out that, just as the pandemic’s circumstances had changed, so had the Court. Justice Ginsburg had been replaced by Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Philosophically, this marked a shift away from a progressive orientation predisposed to give government a wide berth, toward an originalist orientation more attentive to individual liberty and skeptical about government claims of power that are not firmly rooted in the Constitution, or at least obvious from statutory text.

The Biden administration has now taken a more imperious turn. The president has upped the ante from his lawless edict on evictions to a sweeping nationwide vaccine mandate. There is no reason to believe Biden will stop there. Republicans have the numbers to block him in Congress, and if past is prologue, those numbers will get worse for Biden after the midterms. If he cannot appease his party’s rancorous progressives with legislation, his only option is to try to rule by executive order. The Court’s shift is going to be a challenge for him.

A challenge, but not the challenge.

It is not for nothing that Rahm Emanuel, in his incarnation as first chief of staff in the Obama-Biden administration, infamously proclaimed, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” In a serious crisis, the Supreme Court tends to go AWOL … or worse. Biden’s challenge will be to convince the country, and thus the Court, that we are still in a real crisis — something beyond his own ineptitude or his advisers’ stage-managing.

The Court’s conservatives will be open to arguments that the Constitution gives the elected branches wide latitude to deal with real threats. They will not be open to claims that the Constitution is a dead letter just because the president says so.

The article is paywalled, but if you have a subscription it’s available here.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.