Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, was shut down by ABC News “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos Sunday after suggesting that former President Trump could defy “illegitimate” Supreme Court rulings.
“The Constitution says that the Supreme Court can make rulings, but if the Supreme Court ― and look, I hope that they would not do this ― but if the Supreme Court said the President of the United States can’t fire a general, that would be an illegitimate ruling and the president has to have Article 2 prerogative under the Constitution to actually run the military as he sees fit,” Vance said.
“This is just basic constitutional legitimacy. You’re talking about a hypothetical where the Supreme Court tries to run the military. I don’t think that’s going to happen, George. But of course, if it did, the president would have to respond to it. There are multiple examples throughout American history of the president doing just that.”
Stephanopoulos asked if the president must abide by legitimate Supreme Court rulings and when Vance responded, the ABC News personality said, “You’ve made it very clear you believe the president can defy the Supreme Court.”
Vance attempted to respond saying, “No, no, George…” but had his mic muted before the show went to break.
The two sparred over remarks the Ohio senator made in 2021 on a podcast about how former President Trump should clean house if he were to be re-elected in 2024.
“I think that what Trump should do, like if I was giving him one piece of advice: fire every single mid-level bureaucrat, every civil servant in the administrative state, replace them with our people. And when the courts- because you will get taken to court- and then when the courts stop you, stand before the country, like Andrew Jackson did, and say the chief justice has made his ruling, now let him enforce it,” Vance said on the podcast.
“Fire everyone in the government, then defy the Supreme Court. You think it’s okay for the president to fire the Supreme Court?” Stephanopoulos asked.
Vance argued that he did not say to fire everyone in the government, he said mid-level bureaucrats.
Stephanopoulos interjected, “You said every civil servant in the administrative state.”
“Let me finish the answer, George, you asked the question. We have a major problem here with administrators and bureaucrats in the government who don’t respond to the elected branches. Let’s just give one very real world example of this. In 2019, Donald Trump, having defeated ISIS, said that we should redeploy our troops in Syria and Jordan out of the region. You had multiple members of the Defense Department bureaucracy who fought him on that. So what happened? We have people who are sitting ducks in the Levant right now, three of whom just got killed because the bureaucrats aren’t listening to the political branches,” he said.
“That’s a fundamental component of our government, George, that whoever is in charge, agree or disagree with them, you have to follow the rules. If those people aren’t following the rules, then, of course, you’ve got to fire them,” Vance said. “And of course, the president has to be able to run the government as he thinks he should. That’s the way the Constitution works. It has been thwarted too much by the way our bureaucracy has worked over the past 15 years.”