Mr. Jefferson, Meet Mr. Jefferson
What the framers would say about raids on congressional offices.
The rest is history. Thanks largely to Charles' rash and unprecedented physical trespass into the House of Commons, a bloody civil war soon broke out between the king and the Parliament—a war that eventually cost the king his head.
So, even if William Jefferson and his congressional colleagues do not have a winning constitutional argument, the president and his men might do well to tread lightly.
Akhil Reed Amar is a Yale law professor and author of America’s Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By.
Photograph of Rep. William Jefferson by Mark Wilson/Getty Images. Image of Thomas Jefferson courtesy New York Historical Society/AFP.