Disney CEO Bob Iger among the executives abandoning Trump advisory roles over climate agreement

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Disney chief executive Bob Iger announced on Twitter that he would resign from President Trump's advisory council following the announcement that he would withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Accord. Iger is one of many high profile executives expressing similar sentiments. A Yale survey suggests that about 7 in 10 registered voters support the agreement.

Whether or not it was the norm doesn't mean that the power wasn't already granted, and as I said, argued for by way of Madison's defense of it.

This just takes you back to what I said in terms of the Constitution meaning whatever 5 justices says it means. How do you know any given power was already granted until the Court says so? And you can't go back to Madison for what happened in the 1930s. Madison (and Jefferson) were advocates for a more limited federal government spending power so its doubtful either would have supported much of the judicial deference that began in the 1930s in terms of federal spending (and thus federal power). Hamilton was the big spender guy (his views were rejected at the convention but he continued to push them and ultimately, as it turns out, carried the day though long after his death).

That doesn't mean that the federal government by way of omission can't govern. There are a billion things not spelled out that logically the federal government can and should regulate

A limited federal government with only enumerated powers could still govern (for more than 100 years that was the case). And there would still be a billion things not spelled out with such a limited government. So neither cuts in favor or against a limited versus all powerful government.

The Commerce Clause isn't the only vague power, as the General Welfare Clause is pretty broad too. Interestingly, this is where Madison and Hamilton differed, because Madison felt "general welfare" was just an extension of the enumerated powers, while Hamilton felt it was far more broad and should reflect the will of the electorate.

Well at least you acknowledge the differences between Madison and Hamilton. Do you agree that Madison would not have supported the big federal spending programs established in the 1930s?

I think this is another example of how a little historical context that isn't selective could move us forward if people stopped treating politics like a sports rivalry.

Ironic after all you have said in this thread. Your analysis of the Constitution has been all selective. I missed the part where only Madison was required to ratify it and only his intent matters (at least if its consistent with your world view and if not, ignore it).

Jeff's avatar

Not sure why you're getting hung up on the idea that the courts decide what the Constitution means. The Constitution itself says that's what they do. They certainly don't take it lightly, and their rulings are scholarly and rationalized in published opinions.

I can't possibly know what Madison would have thought about the 30's, and neither could he, because there was no historic precedent for the Great Depression.

I'm not sure how my "analysis" is selective. The powers I've referred to do exist and have been exercised and validated by the courts, all by design. I haven't said anything about Madison or Hamilton being required to ratify the Constitution, but they wrote the justification and guidance that the states used to consider ratification. Madison is relevant as the architect of the first plan for the document (the "Virginia Plan" at the Constitutional Convention), even if he didn't ultimately get everything that he wanted.

The ambiguities and contradictions in the Constitution absolutely exist, but it works pretty well anyway.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Not sure why you're getting hung up on the idea that the courts decide what the Constitution means. The Constitution itself says that's what they do.

Actually it doesn't. Marbury v. Madison established the Court's power of judicial review and no one has really challenged it since. But that isn't the point. You have to look at the context in which I made the 5 justices comments. And I am not sure what the fact that the opinions appear scholarly and rational and are published means. Dissents are those things too. Flip one justice or two and it often winds up with the opposite result. And the justices on the Court at any given time are somewhat random and the interpretations of a 200+ year old document often varying which is the point of the 5 justice comments.

I can't possibly know what Madison would have thought about the 30's, and neither could he, because there was no historic precedent for the Great Depression.

Based on what he wrote, Madison definitely was not a supporter of big federal government spending. You can say that based on the realities of modern life (and in particular the Great Depression) Madison may well have had a different view of federal government spending. But you can say the same thing about all of his statements about the Constitution and the federal government's powers thereunder. At that point, what is the relevance of any of his stated intent because given the realities of modern life, he may well have had a different intent/view.

Your analysis is selective because you are ignoring Madison's views on the federal government's spending power and all other's who had different views of the meaning/interpretation of the Constitution and the convention at the time.

Last edited by GoBucks89,
Jeff's avatar

I'm not ignoring anything. This is the fundamental problems with political discourse today: You're for or against, and there's no room for nuance. Madison was in fact a Federalist when the Constitution was being shaped, and the Federalists believed in a strong central government that ran the banks and regulated the economy. During Washington's second term, he started to split away from the Federalists, for sure, worried that the Federalists were going to trample all over individual liberties, but interestingly he swung back the other way later as president. And yes... I'm equating spending and federal powers as the same thing, because they are. Even today, the so-called conservatives say how they're all about less government spending, but what they really mean is they prefer to spend where they believe it makes more sense, not spend less.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Madison wanted a stronger federal government. But that was in contrast to the Articles of Confederation which created a very weak federal government. To my knowledge he never moved away from the enumerated powers as limits on the authority of the federal government. In his last days in the White House he vetoed a spending bill (that he believed would be beneficial to the country) because he believed it to exceed the authority of Congress under the Constitution.

The legislative powers vested in Congress are specified and enumerated in the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution, and it does not appear that the power proposed to be exercised by the bill is among the enumerated powers, or that it falls by any just interpretation with the power to make laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution those or other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States.


Such a view of the Constitution would have the effect of giving to Congress a general power of legislation instead of the defined and limited one hitherto understood to belong to them, the terms "common defense and general welfare" embracing every object and act within the purview of a legislative trust. It would have the effect of subjecting both the Constitution and laws of the several States in all cases not specifically exempted to be superseded by laws of Congress, it being expressly declared "that the Constitution of the United States and laws made in pursuance thereof shall be the supreme law of the land, and the judges of every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding." Such a view of the Constitution, finally, would have the effect of excluding the judicial authority of the United States from its participation in guarding the boundary between the legislative powers of the General and the State Governments, inasmuch as questions relating to the general welfare, being questions of policy and expediency, are unsusceptible of judicial cognizance and decision.


I am not unaware of the great importance of roads and canals and the improved navigation of water courses, and that a power in the National Legislature to provide for them might be exercised with signal advantage to the general prosperity. But seeing that such a power is not expressly given by the Constitution, and believing that it can not be deduced from any part of it without an inadmissible latitude of construction and reliance on insufficient precedents; believing also that the permanent success of the Constitution depends on a definite partition of powers between the General and the State Governments, and that no adequate landmarks would be left by the constructive extension of the powers of Congress as proposed in the bill, I have no option but to withhold my signature from it....


His concerns were well taken. At this point, the ability of Congress to spend money is virtually unrestrained by the Constitution (Bill of Rights violation is about the only grounds). In line with Hamilton's views not Madison's.

I agree that neither party has any interest in limited government (or even anything approaching it). There aren't enough people who actually want limited government.

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