Invoking The 14th

Hertzberg hopes Obama will go there:

In the end, Obama could have no honorable choice but to invoke the Fourteenth. There is little doubt that he would prevail. The Supreme Court would be unlikely even to consider the matter, since no one would have standing to bring a successful suit: when the government pays its bills, who is damaged? The House Republicans might draw up articles of impeachment, adopt them, and send them to the Senate, where the probability of a conviction would be zero. This would not be a replay of Bill Clinton and the intern. President Clinton was not remotely guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, but he was guilty of something, and that something was sordid. Yet impeachment was what put Clinton on a glide path to his present pinnacle as a wildly popular statesman. President Obama would be guilty only of saving the nation’s economy, and the world’s.

Emily Bazelon and Eric Posner argue along the same lines:

[L]awsuits that challenge the president’s authority to issue debt would almost certainly go nowhere. Most plaintiffs would not be able to show a personal injury from the issuing of new debt. Lacking legal standing, their cases would be dismissed. Those who got beyond this stage would be blocked by the political question doctrine: Courts would dismiss the suit on the grounds that the controversy over the debt is an inter-branch conflict between the president and Congress that is not for judges to resolve. So if some creditors sell off Treasuries or refuse to buy new debt, the smartest investors—the hedge funds and the sovereign wealth funds—would sweep in to make a killing. …

If Obama jumps the gun and lifts the debt ceiling before the public has a sense of crisis, he risks being accused of imperialism (and of being impeached). But in the end, he has plausible arguments that he has the power to save us from default. He should use that power. The country, the markets, and future presidents will thank him.