There seems to be a bipartisan consensus that the ‘Senior Administration Official’ behind the anonymous New York Times op-ed is acting in defiance of the US Constitution by quietly refusing to carry out the President’s most egregious orders. Even Senator Rand Paul has called for dragnet polygraph tests in opposition to science and his own typically libertarian character.
I ask: if senior officials are not expected to exercise independent judgment, why is there a hierarchy of actual human beings instead of a control board of buttons that directly transmit presidential orders? Why are officials confirmed by the Senate if they are to behave as interchangeable robotic servants to presidential decree?
No, I think the refusal to abide unconstitutional orders (as they almost all are nowadays) is a legitimate check that the executive hierarchy can exercise against a tyrannical President (as they all are nowadays). Though that it has come to this emphasizes that Congress and the Supreme Court have abdicated their own clear responsibility to check and balance the Presidency.
Author: Mike Vine