If the president tries to force states to prematurely ease social distancing restrictions, they should resist. They have the Constitution on their side, and they will almost certainly win in court.
John Langford is counsel at Protect Democracy. He previously spent three years at Yale Law School as a Clinical Lecturer in Law in Yale’s Media Freedom & Information Access Clinic and served as a law clerk to the Hon. Robin S. Rosenbaum on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School.
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As Congress considers various measures to rein in unchecked executive power, it should look back in history to a critical, well-established and underutilized tool for holding executive officials to account: qui tam statutes.
Now that Congress has launched an impeachment investigation into President Trump’s effort to use the Ukrainian government to target a political rival, much ink has been spilled on the question of whether Trump’s actions amount to “high crimes and misdemeanors” for which he may be impeached. In analyzing the president’s conduct, some commentators have pointed to one of the two specific grounds for impeachment enumerated in the Constitution: bribery.