- President Trump is breaking new ground against the Corona virus outbreak this week by calling for an impending withdrawal of social distancing. But the president could face major hurdles if he tries to implement his plan to "Restart" the economy.
- During the marathon press conference on Monday evening, political observers pointed out the lack of a viable plan by the president on how to get people back to work.
- With the 10th change, Trump can only do so much to reverse the multi-state home and essential work orders.
- Trump has been reluctant to deploy its most extensive emergency services. He appealed to the Defense Production Act but did not fully enforce it by forcing companies to produce the necessary medical supplies.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
President Donald Trump plans to "reopen" the American economy by Easter, but aside from the impact of such a decision on public health, logistics will be complex if not impossible.
The president's linchpin of calling for social distance and corporate reopening has left political observers at a loss as to how such a goal could be achieved.
– Esra Klein (@ezraklein) March 23, 2020
The states and their governors have largely managed the local coronavirus response through home contracts and the mandatory closure of non-essential companies. States enjoy protection under the 10th amendment, which gives states exclusive power over powers not conferred on the federal government under the Constitution.
President Trump has largely avoided using executive force to combat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel corona virus. He relied more on public-private partnerships and stressed that each country has different needs.
This has led to clashes between Trump and the governors, for example on Tuesday when New York governor Andrew Cuomo again pleaded with Trump to actually enforce the defense production law, which would force the company to provide the necessary medical supplies such as ventilators. According to Cuomo, New York will need at least 30,000 ventilators in the coming weeks.
Trump has emphasized the economic stimulus and hesitated to implement stricter public health measures. He continues to urge states to relax restrictions, but the precedent is not on his side.
In the 1935 Schechter Poultry US Supreme Court, the court rejected the government's allegation that an economic emergency was sufficient to justify overarching state trade regulations. The decision prevented a provision in the National Industrial Recovery Act during the Great Depression aimed at regulating price fixing on chicken sales and was nicknamed "the case of sick chickens".
Lawsuits remain one of the few ways the President could take action against government orders, and the Schecter case is likely to be a key issue in Trump's challenge to government laws and will be a top priority for judges.
If he chooses not to engage in multiple court battles with states, Trump remains only the bullying pulpit as his most effective tool to get Americans out of the self-quarantine and social distance. In the past few days, he has increasingly used his daily press conferences to promote such an agenda.
Until a more stable legal framework or a better executive regulation is worked out, these will remain the President's only bridging cables that will get the economy going again on November 3rd.