Credit Rating Agencies and Section Four
Here’s another thought about the constitutional issues surrounding the debt ceiling debate. Does an action that would lead to a downgrade in our credit rating count as questioning the “validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law?” In other words, is a deliberate or reckless decision to create a downgrade tantamount to a partial repudiation? If so, then that would suggest another ground for unilateral presidential action after August 2nd (to prevent a credit downgrade).
I’m not sure that I buy this argument, but it’s worth thinking about.
UPDATE: One reason I find this question fascinating is that I think the United States is the only major country that has a constitutional guarantee of its debt. Thus, there is not much precedent for thinking about what that is supposed to mean.