Debt-Limit Silliness

by Ed Whelan

I confess that I have paid very little attention to the recent claims by some liberal academics (Jonathan Adler provides some links here) that section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment—“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, … shall not be questioned”—somehow authorizes the president to ignore or override the debt limit that Congress has established, as I don’t see how the constitutional text provides any support for such claims. For those interested, law professors Michael McConnell (“The theory is bunk”) and John S. Baker offer their refutations.