Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” network senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano said President Donald Trump’s saying during Monday’s White House press briefing that his “authority is total” was incorrect.
In a clip, Trump said, “When somebody’s the President of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s got to be. It’s total. And the governors know that.”
Co-host Steve Doocy asked, “Who has the power? Is the President’s power absolute, or do times like this, when it’s a question of federal government versus state government, the states have the power?”
Napolitano said, “Well, the latter has historically been the case. In areas of health, safety, and welfare, the 10th Amendment expressly reserves the power to regulate for those areas to the states. So, the federal government can help out with cash. It can help out with resources. It can help out with information, and it can help out with guidelines. But, in terms of the actual power, for example, to reopen Broadway theaters, to reopen stadiums, to reopen restaurants, to reopen other parts of the economy that have been shut down, it is the governors who have shut them down, and it is the governors who will make the decision to open it up.”
He continued, “There are things, however, that the President and Congress can do. One of the ways that Congress gets to regulate in local areas is by giving states money to conform to congressional will. Now, some people call this bribery. Others call this largess. For example, when the Congress wanted to lower speed limits during the gas crisis 15 years ago, 20 years ago, it gave the states money to repave federal highways in return for lowering speed limits. So if Congress were to say to Governor Cuomo, here is $100 million to supplement the loss of your state tax revenue. In return, open up the Yankee stadium and open up Broadway. He probably would take the money to do that. But, if he rejected the money, or if Congress didn’t offer the money, the decision is the governors and not the President’s.”
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