Constitution

Who’s in Charge in Trump’s Washington?
All three branches of government are answerable to the Constitution

Just like the president and members of Congress, federal employees are responsible to the Constitution, Murphy writes. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images file photo)

Did you know that the organizational chart for the federal government is the only one you’ll ever see that doesn’t have a person or group of people in the top box? Instead, the three branches of government, including President Donald Trump’s executive branch, sit equidistant from each other on a horizontal row below the top box. And inside the top box is the Constitution.

When a federal employee sent me the org chart during the 2016 campaign, I thought of it mostly as a piece of quirky trivia — hey, look, nobody’s in charge! But I’ve thought about that chart again and again in the last week as people in the federal government have either joined forces with the White House or acted out against it in ways we’ve never seen before.

Government Agency Sings Trump’s Praises in Tweetstorm
President-elect says he will hand over business operations to his children

President-elect Donald Trump was praised by the Office of Government Ethics after announcing he would hand over control of his business operations to his children. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s not normal to see an obscure government agency sing the praises of a politician in a tweetstorm.

But the politician, in this case, is President-elect Donald Trump, who has something of a reputation for flashy and controversial tweets himself.

Biden: 'Constitutional Crisis' Coming With Split Supreme Court
Vice President defends his 1992 comments similar to Republican argument today against nomination

Vice President Biden speaks about the Supreme Court vacancy and confirmation process at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington on Thursday. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

The White House opened a new front in its push to get Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland confirmed, with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. arguing that the Senate Republicans's decision to leave a vacancy on the court has pushed the country to the brink of a “constitutional crisis.”  

The Obama administration’s messaging before Biden spoke Thursday at Georgetown Law Center in Washington mostly had focused on its interpretation of the Constitution’s orders for presidents and lawmakers, as well as Garland’s legal resume and personal story .