Biden Escape Plan If GOP Wins Congress Imperiled
The Biden administration has been thrown into a panic by the ruling of US District Court judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle overturning the CDC regulation requiring that passengers wear face masks on public transportation such trains, planes and buses.
It’s not that it cares much about the mask policy itself, but it is desperate to protect Biden’s authority to issue unlegislated mandates and executive orders.
As it anticipates life under a Republican Congress, the Mizelle decision could lead to a judicial precedent sharply limiting the executive branch’s ability to govern through executive orders without asking for congressional approval first.
The federal mask mandate is based on a public health emergency. But if the courts — particularly the Republican U.S. Supreme Court — become overly fussy in limiting executive authority, it could vastly reduce the power of President Biden if he has to deal with a Republican Congress.
Biden’s Plan B, in the event he loses Congress later this year, is likely to do what President Bill Clinton did and stretch the limits of executive authority to the breaking point.
While Mizelle’s decision is limited to issues affecting public health, the Biden administration no doubt plans to use executive authority in areas such as immigration, tax law, foreign policy, defense, environmental regulation and entitlement spending.
A restrictive judicial interpretation of federal powers is likely to be most inconvenient and leave in its wake a powerless lame duck presidency.
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