Opinion: It’s high noon for the rule of law

This country is at a crossroads.

The U.S. Congress and Southern District of New York have subpoenaed President Trump’s tax returns. President Trump has requested an emergency stay with the Supreme Court, to prevent release of these documents. These are lawful requests that should be respected.

President Trump is also defying congressional subpoenas for other testimony and documents. The U.S. Constitution empowers Congress to investigate the executive branch of government. Denying these subpoenas essentially neuters congressional oversight of the executive branch.

If the Supreme Court approves these presidential obstructions, it has failed in its core mission to protect democracy and the rule of law. If this happens the court must be fundamentally changed.

If these obstructions stand, the president is deemed above the law. This would also mean there is no check on executive branch power. If one law can be ignored, others will follow. We cannot remain a democracy if these obstructions are left in place. Instead, we will become a Russian-styled dictatorship.

I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to that.

Robert Welton Jr.,

Juneau


• Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.