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President Trump has a penchant for theatrical antics. Regardless of their form, Trump’s rants can normally be ignored with a simple shrug. They are, after all, mostly childish and reflective of Trump’s overly-sensitive mind.

But this weekend, Trump exceeded his normal Twitter-warfare targets, including the media, Democrats and celebrities who have criticized him. Instead, Trump turned his wrath towards federal Judge James Robart of the District Court for the Western District of Washington. Robart’s ruling has put a hold on Trump’s refugee executive order. His decision is now under second consideration by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Trump is not happy. Amongst other tweets, Trump referred to Robart as a ”so-called” judge, and implied that the judge, and judiciary by extension, would be responsible if a terrorist infiltrated the country thanks to the ban’s suspension.

First off, let’s be clear: Trump’s attacks on the judiciary are antithetical to the Founding Founders’ intent. They created a co-equal government of the executive (the president), legislative (Congress) and judiciary (the federal court system) branches to ensure that no portfolio of government could seize unchecked power. Challenging that principle, Trump’s tweets are intellectually and morally pathetic. But from my perspective, that’s all they are.

Others disagree. They suggest that by attacking Robart, Trump diminishes the judiciary’s power and endangers our Constitution. While I respect those views, I do not believe Trump’s tweets threaten democracy under law.

For a start, the judiciary is vested with ultimate power to interpret the law. This is not opinion, it is fact.

As Chief Justice John Marshall opined during his ruling in the 1803 case of Marbury vs. Madison, ”It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is.”

But the law is not vested in word alone. The beauty of our Constitution is that the judiciary commands the organs of state power to enforce its will. Where the executive branch acts contrary to the law, the organs of executive power transfer to the judiciary. Until, that is, such a time that new law is enacted by the legislature or the people (via constitutional amendment).

The key elements in this situation are the coercive elements of national power: federal law enforcement and the military. They can impose force upon us to carry out the government’s will, and they are required to serve the law.

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If Trump were to disregard the rulings of the courts, he would have no means to do so. The coercive instruments of government would be required to refuse his instructions. If, as has been reported, some law enforcement officials ignored the judiciary’s suspension of Trump’s ban, they should face administrative action and possible criminal charges. But the vast majority of public servants take their oaths to the Constitution seriously. At the crunch point, they know they live to serve the people, not the president.

That speaks to another issue that gives me confidence in the judiciary’s ability to withstand Trumpism: those who serve within it. Do you really think Supreme Court justices — those who hold ultimate legal authority to scrutinize Trump’s policies — are concerned by a tweet? They are likely disheartened by Trump’s tweets, but I don’t believe they’re scared.

That’s because the justices are strengthened not simply by the responsibility of their office, but by the shield of law that guards their office.

Even if, for example, Trump did something truly stupid and called for his supporters to march on Washington and challenge the judiciary’s legitimacy, the judges would find protection by federal law enforcement. Those protesters exceeding their right to peaceful assembly would be arrested. Trump, shortly thereafter, would almost certainly be impeached. At that moment, the vast majority of American citizens who believe in freedom under law would march against their corrupt president.

There’s a final factor at play here: American exceptionalism. While history reminds us that the barriers between democracy and tyranny should never be taken for granted, American citizens are defined by our fanaticism for the former and our resolve against the latter. Unlike the citizens of many other nations, we have the right to bear arms to defend ourselves against the potential of tyrannical state power. One beauty of our system is that we are unlikely to ever have to use that power.

Sasse: Democrats will 'embarrass themselves' if Gorsuch painted as 'mouth-breathing bald eagle hunter'

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Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., called on Democrats to stop engaging in “Chicken Little hysteria” and move ahead and begin a “serious conversation” regarding Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

In a colorfully-worded statement, the Nebraska Republican warned Senate Democrats against painting Gorsuch as a “mouth-breathing bald eagle hunter,” arguing that they will “embarrass themselves” if they do. Sasse’s comments came after his meeting with the nominee, who would replace former Associate Justice Antonin Scalia if confirmed.

“Judge Gorsuch is a supremely qualified and thoughtful nominee,” Sasse said. “The Chicken Little hysteria from some of my friends on the other side of the aisle is just sad and absurd.

02/07/17 12:55 PM

Trump can rant and tweet, but if he exceeds the legal boundaries of his authority, he will find himself no match for the Founders’ Constitution.

Tom Rogan (@TomRtweets) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. He is a foreign policy columnist for National Review, a domestic policy columnist for Opportunity Lives, a former panelist on The McLaughlin Group and a senior fellow at the Steamboat Institute. If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read our guidelines on submissions here.

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