On the day that our mother country is crowning a monarch, our president is acting like one.
Section Four of the amendment, adopted after the 1861-1865 Civil War, states that the “validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned.” But the clause has been largely unaddressed by the courts.
Some experts have suggested that Biden could invoke this amendment to raise the debt ceiling on his own if Congress does not act. That would almost certainly lead to prolonged legal wrangling, which could unsettle financial markets
White House and other administration officials have examined the possibility but many have dismissed it as a last ditch solution unlikely to survive a court challenge, according to a person briefed on those discussions.
The story conveniently puts an ellipse in the part of the Amendment that says “authorized by law.” The full text of that clause is:
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.