No, Pelosi Is Not The Constitutional Equal To The President

Shortly before becoming House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) made an interesting statement in an interview with the New York Times that the Constitution makes her to be President Donald Trump’s equal. While President Donald Trump is criticized for misconstruing his inherent powers (often for good reason), Pelosi also appears to need a basic constitutional primer on the office.

The Times piece is a largely celebratory story about Pelosi as an “icon of female power.” However, Pelosi was asked “if she considers herself Mr. Trump’s equal.” She responded “The Constitution does.”

No it doesn’t. The Constitution makes the Legislative Branch the equally to the Executive Branch. Indeed, I have testified repeatedly before Congress in the hopes of reminding members of that fact. Members have allowed the expansion of presidential powers for years — ignoring their constitutional duties to protect the inherent powers under Article I. Pelosi played a major role in that erosion under the Obama Administration.

Now back to the Speakership. A speaker is not the equal to a president because a speaker is not the head of one of the branches. She is at most the head of one of the house of the Legislative Branch and even that can be contested as overblown since her powers are limited under House rules.

The fact that a Speaker is second in line to the President under the Presidential Succession Act also does not make her a constitutional equal — any more than cabinet members are the equal to the president because they are also in the line of succession.

Pelosi is the equal to the iconic Sam Rayburn who was the last person to take the office of Speaker twice. That will have to be enough for now. If Pelosi wants to be the equal to the President, they would require running for President after 2020 or succeeding to his position due to his death or removal — assuming Pence is not available.

86 thoughts on “No, Pelosi Is Not The Constitutional Equal To The President”

  1. I heard Feinstein husbands real estate firm also has the exclusive on acquiring the property for the bullet train in California

    1. Independent Bob – I have always thought the other states should have an up or down vote on all elected federal officials. 😉

  2. Despite what commenter absurdity x 2 claims the International Court of Justice, or whatever the name is, recently pronounced one of its defendants a War Criminal. He promptly swallowed poison while proclaiming “I am not a war criminal.”

    Absurdity x 2 has completely lost it. Advise mental health counseling.

    1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me twenty-five citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after twenty-eight weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – You took a 1 quarter course in Psych 101 and you are an expert????

    1. “Follow the money.”

      “Feinstein’s Husband to Benefit From Sale of Government Property

      The real estate firm of the husband of California’s senior U.S. senator stands to make $1.1 billion off the sale of surplus Post Office buildings, many on prime land throughout the country, according to recent news reports.

      Dianne Feinstein, former chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has insisted she exerted no influence on the U.S. Postal Service in 2011 to get it to award an exclusive contract to the Los Angeles-based CBRE group, which was chaired at the time by her husband, Richard C. Blum, the New York Post reported. He continues to serve on the firm’s board of directors.

      “Ever wonder how lowly paid lawmakers leave office filthy rich? Sen. Dianne Feinstein is showing how it’s done,” Post columnist Richard Johnson wrote last week.

      Johnson was the first to disclose the billion-dollar real estate commissions the firm is expected to make off the sale of 56 Post Office properties, which were put on the market to reduce the Postal Service’s multi-billion dollar deficit.

      A year-long investigation by the East Bay Express found that CBRE, which calls itself the world’s largest commercial real estate firm, has been maximizing profits by selling surplus Post Office property at below market rates.

      “CBRE has sold valuable postal properties to developers at prices that appear to have been steeply discounted from fair market values, resulting in the loss of tens of millions of dollars in public revenue,” the Northern California newspaper reported in 2013.

      The Express noted that Postal Service Inspector General David C. Williams investigated the award of the contract and cited “conflict of interest concerns.” ” …

      1. you know who was the biggest donor to California Dem party for year after year a whiles back? A fine gentleman named Angelo Tsakopoulos, big real estate developer. Kind of like Trump, if you recall his comments on his previous donations, he did what he had to do…….

        AT has established a massive collection of Hellenic literature for Cal State. I find that very admirable. I don’t mean to demean him by comparing him in this context, just pointing out how things work

  3. Pelosi misconstrues the Speaker position as a Party Leader position, a view that has no Constitutional basis, as Paul Ryan, John Boehner, and other Speakers have misconstrued it.

    The Speaker, per the Constitution, presides over the entire House of Representatives, all 435 Members, and is accountable for the productivity of this legislative body. In order to discharge that high-level responsibility, the presiding officer must stand above partisan factions, and act as a strong referee to make the partisans work cooperatively. A partisan cannot act as such a referee and tough task-master. How often have we seen the Speaker blame the other party for lack of results — a sign that the modern Speaker DOES NOT take responsibility for getting legislating done in realtime.

    If anyone knows Rep. Pelosi, please explain to her that she has an obligation, equal to all 435 members, regardless of Party affiliation, to make the House productive. If not her, then whose job is it? And how would the Founders overlook the need for that critical job?

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