Amendment XIV and Federal Pension Obligations: A Response to Professor Michael McConnell
4 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2013 Last revised: 23 Jan 2013
Date Written: January 17, 2013
Professor McConnell has argued that: For Congress to limit the amount of the debt does not “question” the “validity” of the debt that has been “authorized by law.” At most, it means that paying the public debts and pension obligations of the United States, as they become due, has priority over all other spending.
Although McConnell's first statement is correct, his second statement is incorrect. Giving the federal debt priority over other government obligations requires a firm legal basis. Amendment XIV supplies no such basis.
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