Sorry, Mr. President 

June 28, 2021

April 14, 2020

Editorial credit: Evan El-Amin /

President Trump proclaimed yesterday that the President “calls the shots” and that the power of the President is “total.” Vice President Pence backed him up, saying that the power of the President in an emergency is “plenary.”

Sorry, Mr. President, the U.S. Constitution did not establish a monarchy. Far from it. 

The powers of the President are prescribed by the Constitution, and further limited by the powers of the other co-equal branches – Congress and the federal courts – as well as those powers reserved for the states, and ultimately, the people.  

More than 800 years of Anglo-American law dating back to the Magna Carta make clear that no American leader has “total” or “plenary” power. President Trump cannot reverse this history by proclaiming it at a press briefing. But he also cannot be allowed to undermine it through executive fiat, bad faith arguments of enabling legal advisors, the acquiescence of Congressional leaders or, above all, the silence of lawyers.

As attorneys we must stand together as guardians of our Constitution, the laws of our nation, and the principles of our government. 

We stand together to say “NO” to the ridiculous attempts by the President to place a crown on his own head.” 


Scott Harshbarger
Charles Baron
Robert Dell
Evan Falchuk
Nicholas Fels
Eugene R. Fidell

Ruth Ellen Fitch
Carmen F. Francella
Fred M. Lowenfels

Stanley J. Marcuss
James F. McHugh

Thomas Mela
John T. Montgomery
Gershon M. (Gary) Ratner
Lois Schiffer
Lisa Weissler
Lucien Wulsin

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