Jackson addresses slapdown in Trump case: ‘Presidents are not kings’

Jackson addresses slapdown in Trump case: ‘Presidents are not kings’
‘The separation of powers is crucial to liberty. It is what our country is founded on’

裁判官 Ketanji Brown Jackson on Wednesday said her opinion stating that “presidents are not kings” reflected her view of a federal government designed to prevent tyranny by splitting the powers of a monarch among three co-equal branches.

Ms Jackson delivered the widely-cited rebuke to then-president ドナルド・トランプ in a November 2019 district court opinion rejecting claims that former ホワイトハウス counsel Donald McGahn could not assert absolute immunity from a subpoena to testify before the House Judiciary Committee’s probe into whether Mr Trump obstructed former special counsel ロバート・ミューラー’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 選挙.

“Stated simply, the primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that Presidents are not kings,」と彼女は書いた. “This means that they do not have subjects, bound by loyalty or blood, whose destiny they are entitled to control. むしろ, in this land of liberty, it is indisputable that current and former employees of the White House work for the People of the United States, and that they take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”.

Asked about her most famous opinion on the third day of her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ms Jackson said the “design” of the US government “is to prevent tyranny”.

“The framers decided, after experiencing monarchy, tyranny, and the like that they were going to create a government that would split the powers of a monarch in several different ways. One was federalism. It was vertical, they would split the powers between the federal government and states. Another was to prevent the federal government from itself becoming too powerful from having all of the authorities from having legislative, executive and judicial authority concentrated in one place," 彼女は説明した.

“The separation of powers is crucial to liberty. It is what our country is founded on. And it’s important as consistent with my judicial methodology for each branch to operate within their own sphere”.

Ms Jackson added that such a separation meant, 彼女のために, that judges “can’t make law” and “shouldn’t be policymakers”.

“That’s a part of our constitutional design and it prevents our government from being too powerful and encroaching on individual liberty," 彼女は言いました.