Fox News’ senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano warned that President Donald Trump is continuing a “very dangerous trend” by violating the Constitution’s “separation of powers” three times in the past week alone.
The former New Jersey Superior Court Judge used his weekly Fox News Digital episode of Judge Napolitano’s Chambers on Wednesday to explain that the Constitution’s framers intended for power to be separated between the three branches of government: the executive, the legislative and the judicial.
He argued that Trump has been “abandoning separation of powers Madison so carefully crafted.”
“We call it the separation of powers,” Napolitano pointed out. “The president can’t write the laws, the Congress can’t put somebody on trial and the courts can’t determine tax rates,” the legal expert explained. “That is at least the theory of the Constitution.”
Napolitano said that for more than a century now, “more and more power” has been accumulating in the executive branch, or the presidency, due to the separation of powers being disregarded.
Napolitano called this a “very disturbing” and a “very dangerous trend.”
He explained to viewers how Trump has followed the long term trend and violated the separation “three times in the past week.”
Napolitano outlined the three directives from Trump and explained how they violated the Constitution. The first was the president’s order to acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan to not purchase a missile defense system approved by Congress and instead use the funds to construct a wall on the southern border of the U.S. with Mexico. Second, the former judge cited Trump’s order to send troops to secure the border and said it “violates the separation of powers,” as the president’s oath does not allow military forces to be deployed to deal with domestic issues. Napolitano also argued that Trump’s decision to implement 25 percent tariffs on Chinese goods was akin to levying a “national federal sales tax” on American consumers, which the president does not have power to do under the Constitution.
“It is dangerous when presidents write their own laws, impose their own taxes, spend money how they want and Congress looks the other way,” he asserted. “It’s dangerous because its too much of an accumulation of power in the presidency, and it imbalances that delicate balance that the separation of powers created.”