President Trump can’t just do what he wants

Republicans used to bash President Barack Obama for his “imperial presidency” — his use of executive orders to do things that the Republican-controlled Congress wouldn’t go along with.

What, then, do they have to say about President Donald Trump, who Axios on HBO he could to sign an executive order doing away with “birthright citizenship,” despite the 14th Amendment’s clear guarantee that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” The president claims his experts have told him that doesn’t apply to children of illegal immigrants. He doesn’t even need congressional action.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, at least, had the gumption to say, “He can’t do that,” earning him a severe Twitter lashing from the president that he knows nothing about the 14th amendment and should stick to keeping the Republican majority in Congress in the midterm election.

Constitutional scholars across the country are highly critical of the idea that the president can change the Constitution with a swipe of his pen. Even those who argue against the idea that birthright citizenship is guaranteed to children of illegal immigrants agree that the only way to change the constitution is through a constitutional amendment, which is no easy task.

Not even Obama claimed the kind of power that Trump thinks he has. He needs to get some better qualified advisers.