Mike Dorf Takes Down Eric Posner on 14th Amendment and Debt Ceiling

October 8th, 2013

Wow!! Read Mike Dorf’s evisceration of Eric Posner’s argument on the 14th Amendment and the Debt Ceiling.

Here are some of Mike’s choicer remarks:

  • To Say That Eric Posner Has Twisted Himself Into a Logical Pretzel Would Be Unfair to Pretzels (title of the post)
  •  Professor Posner has now replied in New Republic essay that, as will become evident, is probably better understood as a manifestation of the psychological phenomenon of projection than as legal or political analysis.
  • Posner levels two misguided criticisms against what he imagines the Buchanan/Dorf approach to be.
  • Although Posner’s first effort thus fails to join issue with Professor Buchanan and myself, at least he comes close to hitting the target on the straw man he erects.  His second effort fails at even that modest goal, hitting himself instead.
  • I explained in Friday’s post that I had reason to doubt Posner’s expertise at Presidential public relations but that even if he turned out to be right, that would be a second-order consideration.
  • I am tempted to say that maybe that statement of the argument is its own refutation, but that’s not my statement of the argument, it’s Posner’s mischaracterization of the argument.
  • Tempted, but I won’t bother going down that road because just a few paragraphs down Posner reveals himself to be so hopelessly confused that I doubt it’s even possible to find a coherent position of his with which to disagree.
  • He defends his view that the President should invoke his supposed emergency powers using exactly the argument he imagines that I had made, and which he himself declares to be self-refuting.  Really, I’m not glossing here.  I’m simply reporting.

I offer no expertise on the 14th Amendment issue, but Dorf’s repose is blistering.