Fox’s Judge Nap Sees ‘Dangerous Trend’ as Trump Violates Separation of Powers Three Times in a Week

Fox’s Judge Nap Sees ‘Dangerous Trend’ as Trump Violates Separation of Powers Three Times in a Week

Fox News is going to start keeping Judge Andrew Napolitano off the air if he keeps going like this.

In the latest episode of Judge Napolitano’s Chambers, his series of online videos for the Fox News website, Napolitano accuses President Trump of violating constitutional separation of powers three times in just the past week. Which is bad.

Napolitano starts by noting that the separation of powers doctrine has been in trouble since the presidency of Woodrow Wilson. In the century since, presidents have been grabbing some of the legislative branch’s power while Congress has been “falling asleep.” Then he went through Trump’s three recent violations of the doctrine.

First, Trump directed Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan to not buy a missile defense system that Congress had appropriated funds for the Defense Department to purchase. Instead, he wants the money redirected to pay for his border wall. By law, the DOD is required to use that money for the purpose for which Congress ordered. Trump is now ignoring that law.

Second, Trump directed Shanahan to send troops to secure the southern border. Napolitano asserts that this is an example of using the military for “domestic law enforcement,” which is against the law except in case of an emergency.

Presumably Trump is citing the national emergency he declared in February as justification, but the basis for that emergency is under dispute. Congress did try to override Trump with a law that would have blocked his declaration of a national emergency, but the president vetoed the measure.

Third, Napolitano accused Trump of raising taxes by slapping a tariff of 25 percent on all goods being imported from China. Because these tariffs are passed onto consumers, the judge views it as essentially a national sales tax.

“It is dangerous,” Napolitano intoned, “when presidents write their own laws, impose their own taxes, spend money how they want, and Congress looks the other way.”

“It’s dangerous because it’s too much of an accumulation of power in the presidency,” he added.

President Trump won’t like hearing that.

Watch the entire video embedded in the post, via Fox News.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.