Courts are Last Resort in Forcing Trump Cronies to Do Their Jobs

The Union of Concerned Scientists is suing the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to do its job. The specific charge is that EPA Head Scott Pruitt, who has no science background, is attempting to exclude working scientists and academics from serving on its advisory board via a transparent new directive on board make-up that favors industry representatives.

Ironically, Pruitt himself, in his former role as Oklahome attorney general, filed dozens of lawsuits against the EPA in an effort to avoid complying with federal environmental law. After Trump successfully appointed him as head of the agency, the nomination confirmed by Republican lawmakers despite the huge conflict of interest, Pruitt got to work on weakening and undermining the agency rather than fulfilling the mission he had been charged with as its administrative head.

Trump has a habit of appointing people to major administrative roles that they are unqualified for, whose mission and responsibilities they are philosophically opposed to, or both. Pruitt is one glaring example, but you don’t have to look far to find another. Betsy DeVos seems determined to gut public education in her role as education secretary, so is it a surprise that her agency is also being sued?

On the one hand, it speaks to the wisdom of the Founding Fathers that their separation of powers is allowing for some recourse when the Republican-controlled executive and legislative branches seem dead-set on selling out and tearing down their nation, brick by brick. But should the courts have to intervene this much, not only blocking one illegal move after another but actually forcing Trump-allied government employees to do their jobs?

Of course not. And it is not just Trump that is the problem. A huge number of Republican members of Congress, in both the House and the Senate, are also failing to do their own jobs, for example, in refusing to debate and work on gun control despite a clear mandate from the people they represent.

These non-representing representatives not only have responsibilities to their constituents but also to the Constitution. In the latter case that includes being a check on the power of the president. Yet, while many long-running members have been happy to block former Democratic President Barack Obama’s work, often for partisan reasons, blatant constitutional violations by the current president remain unchecked. The Founding Fathers did not imagine that a political party would become so enamored of its own agenda as to ignore its duty to the country itself, and yes, I am talking about impeachment, though any effort to reign in the man’s totalitarian tendencies would be welcome.

So it’s all on the courts, at least for now. But there’s a fourth power to consider: the voters themselves. With the 2018 elections coming up there’s an opportunity to vote out politicians who put their party, Trump, the NRA, the oil industry, or any other individual, organization, or group above their own constitutional duties or the needs of their constituents. The courts can’t save the day forever–especially if Trump keeps making judicial appointments.

Photo credit: The Supreme Court.


David F
David F13 days ago

The so called open and tolerant Lefties censored my post from March 3rd about the other side of the story.

Kristen Kessler
Kristen Kessler14 days ago

pruitt is a disgrace to humanity

pam w
pam w14 days ago

Support environmental and civil rights organizations! THEY are the ones bringing these suits to the court!

Joan E
Joan E14 days ago

Glad there are still some decent people on the court.

Winn A
Winn A15 days ago


Winn A
Winn A15 days ago

tRUMPie belongs in jail . . . . .

Doree Taylor
Doree Tylor15 days ago

Indeed, if the justice arm of our delicate system of balances fails us, we will be so much closer to lost.... that's why it is so important that 'we the people' are vigilant everyday, in loudly standing up for how WE want to shape and manage OUR DEMOCRACY.

Jetana A
Jetana A15 days ago

Pray potus doesn’t get the opportunity to appoint more judges. And vote in the midterms!

Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E15 days ago

dan blossfeld.
I'm not afraid of much except mediocrity like you seem to exhibit. Why look wishy washy IF you actually HAVE something you feel passionate about. You don't ever seem to hold back when you want to criticize one of the writers here on C2 do you.

Danuta W
Danuta W15 days ago

Thank you for sharing