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A Memorandum to President Barron Trump, Feb 1 2045

John A. Bellicus

A Memorandum to President Barron Trump, Feb. 1 2045

Office of the Attorney General

Washington, D.C. 22077

February 1, 2045





In response to your legal queries, I provide the following analyses. In the first portion of this Memorandum, I respond to your questions regarding your authority to militarize the southern border, to arrest and detain suspected illegal immigrants, and to deport them en masse. I also analyze your authority to instigate military hostilities in Mexico. Following these analyses, I write more generally about the goals of your presidency and how best to achieve them. Given your robust, classical education and your interest in legal scholarship, I write rather extensively on these points. Consequently, I have not been able to address your other queries. In a following memorandum, I will address whether you may, as you request, rename the city of “Istanbul” as “Constantinople” for issues of United States foreign policy, and whether you may draft an executive order defining as “sedition” all acts in furtherance of communist ideology, including donation to subversive organizations like Black Lives Matter or certain private universities that propagate such ideologies. Wait for my analyses, but I believe both are within your powers.


  1. Regarding your wish to immediately militarize the southern border and deport illegal immigrants en masse without congressional action

You have asked whether, to definitively resolve the immigration crisis, you have authority to deploy the armed forces to police and defend the southern border, whether you have authority to suspend the writ of habeas corpus to arrest and detain suspected illegal immigrants throughout the country, and whether you may conduct deportations on an industrial scale—all without congressional action. You do have such authority. This authority arises from several sources, first of which is known as a “residuum theory” of executive power.

According to this view of executive power, the President, vested with “the executive power” by Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, may exercise all the “prerogative powers” that would have historically been exercised by the King of England and any derivative powers necessary to effectuate these powers—except those that are specifically allocated to other branches of government. William Blackstone classified the power over entry and removal of aliens as among the “principal prerogatives.” Although Congress is granted some constitutional authority over issues related to foreign affairs, like making rules for naturalization, the Constitution also grants the President significant authority over foreign affairs, including authority over war, over appointments of ambassadors, and over treating with foreign nations. Thus, although Congress possesses certain powers over foreign affairs, the President, in addition to his specifically enumerated powers, retains expansive residual authority over the subject, including immigration.

This understanding of executive power as a left-over residuum of the royal prerogatives coheres with the Founders’ conceptions and is well established in the legal scholarship.

These broad residual powers are capable of justifying your desired actions. But the Founders often adopted the “belt-and-suspenders” strategy; thus, other textual sources of constitutional authority are also available for those who doubt the residuum thesis.

1. The President has the power to repel sudden invasions.

The President has the power to repel sudden invasions.[i] The Article IV, Section 4 Guarantee Clause of the Constitution frames it as a duty, providing that the federal government “shall protect each [State] against invasion.” It does not name the President. But of the three branches of the federal government, it would only make sense that the President, as chief executive and Commander in Chief, is to be charged with this duty. Neither Congress nor the judiciary are capable of protecting the states.

Furthermore, Article II, Section 1 Clause 8, known as the presidential Oath Clause, provides that the President “will to the best of [his] Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” The oaths of no other governmental branch contain this duty to protect and defend. This alone is a sufficient textual source of the presidential power to repel invasions. Although the language speaks of protecting and defending “the Constitution,” this phrase should be interpreted to refer to the Union itself. It certainly doesn’t refer to the literal Constitution residing behind the glass at the National Archives.

This view of the Oath Clause is not novel. Abraham Lincoln used the Oath Clause to justify a military blockade of southern ports and the suspension of habeas corpus at the outset of the Civil War. The Supreme Court also supported this understanding of the Oath Clause, writing that “to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution meant to preserve, protect, and defend the government; and that it was [Lincoln’s] right and his duty, independently or in the absence of acts of Congress, to use all the power placed at his disposal for the protection and preservation of the government.”[ii] But your opponents may question whether the border crisis constitutes an “invasion.” It does.

2. The border crisis constitutes an invasion.

Our Nation’s continued failure to solve the border crisis has led to a social degradation that is now beyond dispute. Of course, such an outcome was by no means unexpected. Benjamin Franklin, in his Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind (1751), wrote regarding the inevitable outcome of uncontrolled immigration and its weaponization by landed gentry seeking cheap labor and higher land prices. We have ignored this wisdom, and today we see the consequences. Violent crimes perpetrated by illegal immigrants and asylum-abusers have risen to drastic heights, and these same immigrants empty the social-welfare coffers, leaving next-to-nothing for struggling Americans.[iii] Today, the cartels have expanded operations within the country to the point where they operate within cities as did the American Mafia over a century ago. The tragic and deadly cartel shootout in Arizona is just the most recent example and makes energetic executive action on this issue all the more necessary.

Although the Constitution does not define “invasion,” it plainly refers to attacks by armed foreign hostiles. As the Supreme Court has noted, this refers to actual invasion by a hostile nation, like Great Britain, or to attacks “from Indians and pirates.”[iv]

While Mexican cartels are not recognized nation-states, they are sophisticated organizations that exercise de jure sovereignty over most of Mexican territory.[v] A study conducted in 2023 indicated that the cartels were Mexico’s fifth-largest employer. Recent data we have collected suggest that their market share has doubled. They are therefore more similar to Indian tribes or quasi-governmental pirate organizations, which the Court stated in Luther v. Borden were also the concern of the Founders when they wrote the “invasion” provision. Whatever the nomenclature, this cartel-government exploits our porous border, flimsy laws, and general failures of enforcement in order to flood our country with drugs and violence, thereby weakening it and expanding cartel powers. The cartels mask their subversive attacks by using immigrant-pawns. But just because they blow no trumpets and wave no flags doesn’t mean they aren’t attacking.

3. Whether the border crisis constitutes an invasion is a political question and not reviewable by the judiciary.

Whether or not the border crisis constitutes an invasion is a “political question” outside the scope of judicial review. In case your memory needs refreshing, a question being fundamentally “political” means, in essence, that the Constitution leaves determination of this issue completely within the discretion of another branch. The judiciary has no power to review.

Here, whether the President may perform these actions depends on whether the cartels are indeed a hostile foreign power invading the country. Above I explained why the border crisis constitutes an invasion; but ultimately, only the President can determine whether an invasion is underway at all. The Court said as much in the Zivotofsky case, when it declared the President’s exclusive “recognition power,”—i.e., his power to recognize which foreign nations are legitimate and which are not.[vi] In that case, the Court held that Congress could not pass a law requiring the State Department to recognize Jerusalem as a part of Israel. The Court held that the President alone, by virtue of his constitutional grant of power to treat with ambassadors, had the power to “recognize” which nations were legitimate. Not Congress. The logic from this case applies here to give you supreme authority to recognize the cartels as hostile nations that are invading the United States. On this issue, as in Zivotofsky, the Nation must speak “with one voice,” and that voice is yours.[vii] In the end, even without the Court’s precedent, it is a basic principle of “the jurisprudence of all civilized nations,”[viii] that when a nation is under existential threat, the chief executive must do whatever it takes to protect against the threat. In doing so, he is accountable only to the American people.

4. Whether you may suspend the writ of habeas corpus is similarly a political question

The same logic extends to your wish to suspend the writ of habeas corpus for all those persons suspected of being illegally present in the United States. The writ of habeas corpus allows courts to demand that the executive produce the corpus of the detained person and prove that the detention is lawful. Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution, however, allows the suspension of the writ “in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion.” Because you are the only one who can determine whether an invasion is underway—and because you here have strong reasons for so determining—you are legally entitled to suspend the writ and thus ignore any court that challenges the lawfulness of your detentions. In truth, it has not been common practice to suspend the Great Writ, but Lincoln’s decision to do so at the outbreak of the Civil War puts you on solid footing, provided you can convince the people that our situation is similarly grave. The recent tragedy in Arizona should help.

To best assure success, I suggest you do the following: charge border patrol and the armed forces to detain all suspected illegal aliens until they either (1) provide evidence of citizenship, in which case they are entitled to the full protections of United States law (including habeas corpus), or (2) fail to provide such evidence, in which case they are immediately deported or detained for as long as the executive, at his discretion, deems necessary. You certainly risk deporting some lawful residents, but this is the price of efficiency. And if they are undesirable immigrants, then their deportation will still serve the best interest of the Nation. To best facilitate this project and deter violations, I also recommend construction of a temporary detainment facility—à la Guantanamo Bay—in Sonora, Mexico near the Sea of Cortez.

5. The President has the power to execute congressional law.

Lastly, even the most limited view of executive power recognizes that the “executive power” includes the power to, well, execute congressional law. Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution frames it as a duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. But the exact method of how the President exercises this power is largely up to his discretion.[ix] The Court, however, has sometimes implied a more robust duty, stating that “[i]n the performance of this trust, [the President] not only may, but he is bound to avail himself of every appropriate means not forbidden by law.”[x] And as the Court made clear in Youngstown v. Sawyer, when the President acts to give effect to the clearly expressed will of the people by way of their representatives in Congress, his power is at its zenith.[xi]

Here, though half a century of faithless nonenforcement has led many to forget it, Congress has already passed a law requiring the deportation of immigrants unlawfully present in the United States. This is The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996, which provides that officials who encounter illegal immigrants “shall order the alien removed from the United States without further hearing or review.”[xii] You therefore have the power (and the duty) to faithfully execute this Act. And although some may object to your means, the judiciary’s power to review your action is minimal at best.

In sum, as President, you have several specific sources of constitutional authority to carry out this aggressive border policy. The President may repel invasions through defensive action, and the border crisis is such an invasion. But ultimately, whether such an invasion has in fact occurred is a political question and not subject to judicial review at all. And lastly, in acting to curb the immigration crisis, you are executing a clearly expressed desire of Congress, and therefore your decisions deserve maximal deference in the event of any constitutional challenge regarding the means.

  1. Regarding your wish to instigate military hostilities in Mexico

You have also expressed a desire to invade Mexico, root out the cartels, remove the current “imposter” government, and assist the Mexican people in establishing a new sovereign state, one more friendly toward U.S. interests, which you have suggested would go by the name Guadalupa, an inspired choice of name honoring the Blessed Virgin that is sure to receive support from the many Mexican faithful. You have the authority to do this. Much of the legal analysis from the above section bears on this issue as well, but I would like to provide some additional support. Of course, as I stated at the outset, you have this residual power—the power to wage war—because it was one historically belonging to the King of England. The fact that Congress was given the power “to declare war” does not change this. As other scholars have convincingly argued, the power “to declare war” was merely the power to give notice of the legal grounds for the war, to give notice to the allies of your enemies that they would now be treated as co-belligerents, and to apprise citizens of enemy nations of their altered rights and legal status within the United States. It was not the power to start wars. This residual power is the President’s alone. But to assuage our more hard-nosed textualist allies, I offer the following additional arguments.

1. The President also has other textual authority to instigate military hostilities if doing so is legitimately in the national-security interest of the Nation.

The President has the power to deploy the United States military without congressional approval whenever doing so serves genuine national security interests. This power emanates from the same textual provisions above discussed, such as the Take Care Clause, the Oath Clause, and the Guarantee Clause. And where any doubt exists about the meaning of these Clauses, historical practice has fully settled the meaning to include this “national security power.”[xiii]

Since 1776, Presidents from nearly every political party have used the military to meet the Nation’s changing national security needs.[xiv] In the 1791 Battle of the Wabash, George Washington launched a military attack into Indian territory without congressional approval against tribes that had been raiding American settlements. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson deployed the United States Navy to Libya to attack the Barbary Pirates in order to defend United States ships and general national interests.[xv] From as early as the Founding, then, it has been understood that the President had this authority. A century and a half later, Harry Truman sent American troops to fight in Korea to protect the United States against the creeping threat of global Communism. His proclamation in part provided: “[I]f the goal of communist imperialism were to be achieved, the people of this country would no longer enjoy the full and rich life they have with God’s help built for themselves and their children….”[xvi] Although the Supreme Court in Youngstown v. Sawyer later found his seizure of the steel mills an unconstitutional means of achieving his military goals, it did not rule on the broader constitutionality of his decision to instigate hostilities in Korea.[xvii] This silence is empowering. And Mexico is much closer to home than Korea. Consequently, it is much more in the immediate national security interests of the United States to resolve the Mexican threat. And, after decades of political failure, only one viable option remains: complete destruction of the cartels and the façade government that enables them.


Again, all of this can be done without congressional action. Nevertheless, to discharge my duty of counsel most faithfully, I feel further compelled to expound on what will be required to achieve your aims and to encourage you in preparation for what is to come.

1. Tactics to protect your actions from criticism

First, I recommend taking the following tactical steps to best insulate your decisions from criticism:

Act quickly. If you leave too much time for the other branches to act, they may engage in political posturing—or worse, in the case of Congress, act in some way to reduce funding. This is how Congress halted Ronald Reagan’s aspirations in Lebanon in the early 1980s. But if you act quickly and commit significant resources, then the sunk costs of the situation will favor you. Congress will be loath to remove funding from an operation that has already begun. This would place our military, and our reputation, in jeopardy.

Be prepared to weather political pressure. Of course, there will be some public outcry. But as your father understood well, most people have short attention spans and only fair-weather convictions. To best placate the public, you should emphasize the humanitarian aims—for example, that our Mexican neighbors will be the first to benefit from your actions. And whenever possible, you should refer to these actions as necessary to save democracy. The main risk is that things proceed clumsily and move too slowly, as has become so common with American military actions in recent decades. To avoid this, you must aggressively reform the armed forces as we have discussed. I also suggest that you pressure Congress to begin issuing Letters of Marque pursuant to Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution to fund private military contractors. Your decision to name Erik Prince as Secretary of Defense is a good start toward this goal.

Rebuild with common sense. Once Mexico is eliminated, Guadalupa must be built. Use common sense when doing so. Our many bungled attempts at nation-building (and even our current national situation) have revealed that Anglo-American constitutionalism cannot be grafted onto any people. For example, our naïve, culture-blind hope that new schools and a bill of rights would turn Afghanistan into Sweden cost us trillions of dollars and irreparable harm to our national reputation. Keep this in mind as you delegate and oversee the development of Guadalupa. For the construction of the new nation’s legal system, I recommend that you recruit Professor Adrian Vermeule. He has long desired an “Empire of Our Lady of Guadalupe.”[xviii]

2. Legal and historical ideas to bolster your position

Put simply, to accomplish these goals and your broader vision for the Presidency, you will need to wield near-dictatorial power. But fortunately, the well of Presidential power is deep for those with the will and ability to draw from it. And I believe you—a natural aristocrat in the bloom of youth—are a man of such will and ability.

You will face harsh resistance, especially from certain corporate elites and the “university class.” But you may find it easy to capture the hearts of the general public. Ordinary people crave the clear hierarchies and the simplicity of a monarchy. Even in Founding-era America, there was genuine interest in a “high-toned,” “constitutional monarchy.”[xix] Alexander Hamilton famously advocated for such a position during the Constitutional Convention, arguing that the President should be an elective monarch, ruling for life unless impeached.[xx]

Some have argued that this was a mere negotiation tactic to incentivize adoption of Madison’s Virginia Plan, and although this could be true, it does not affect my point. For the tactic to work, people would have had to believe it—that Hamilton was serious and that enough people might support his proposal. And this squares with our knowledge about what the American public thought at the time. The people, after all, called for George Washington to be king. Washington himself, in 1787, conceded that “the utility; nay the necessity of [elective monarchy]” might become clear in time, but “that the period is not arrived for adopting the change without shaking the Peace of this Country to its foundation.”[xxi] Hardly an outright rejection of monarchy. Even our grievances with King George are misunderstood. Our grievances with King George involved his corrupt alliance with the British elite and his dereliction of his kingly duty to protect his American colonial subjects. In short, we disdained King George, not because he was a King, but because he was George.[xxii]


I have provided you with these additional legal tactics and ideas with the hope that they assist you in defending yourself as you advance your agenda. Now, I would like to provide some final encouragement.

James Madison, contemplating the creation of this Union, wrote that “ambition must be made to counteract ambition.”[xxiii] In the recent century, globalist tycoons have been the only ones with any ambitions, and their schemes have gone unchecked by the sycophants and yes-men in Congress who pretend to do the will of the American people. But now you have arrived, a man of real ambition, to restore order and breathe hope back into these American lands. This is what the Founders would have wanted. Although Washington opposed monarchical power, he did so because he thought “the period is not arrived.” And history proved him right. An intelligent group of Anglo-American Protestants with enlightenment values, living in a high-trust society with open space and ample resources, had a real opportunity to build a free government without a monarch. And even then, the task before them was daunting. And yet they accomplished it. But I suspect that none of them thought that the system as they built it would live on forever. And I ask you whether you believe Washington would still say today that the “period is not arrived.” I think he would not. America is not the same nation as it was in 1789, 1900, or even 1950.

Domestically, the Republic has been run into the ground by bureaucrats and corporations. Congress no longer does the will of the American people.[xxiv] In fact, Congress rarely does anything at all,[xxv] abdicating its solemn oath and allowing unchecked agency action. And its continual abuse of authority to harangue the President and fabricate scandals has laid bare its lack of legitimacy. The federal judiciary, thanks to the single strategic success of the Republican Party in the last fifty years—and the efforts of your father—still retains a shred of legitimacy. But this, too, has fast been eroding. The whole world was witness to the weaponization of the judicial system against your father in 2024. The American economy is a house of cards, which remains standing merely because of the dollar’s status as world-reserve currency. We are a nation that produces less than it has ever produced before. Massive immigration has led to violence, social degradation, and the creation of a monstrous welfare state that drains its productive citizens to provide for vagrants and illegals. American air and water are increasingly filthy, our biodiversity continues to dwindle, and the countryside is being erased by suburban sprawl. American cities are ugly, dirty, and violent. And the degradation of American cities is a microcosm of the country as a whole. Our lifespans are decreasing, our waistlines are increasing; our men are sterile, and our women are barren. Childhood cancer has skyrocketed. We commit suicide at unheard-of rates. The American family is in shambles, and people are increasingly miserable.[xxvi]

Abroad, our repeated military failures have hollowed out our reputation as a great power. The shrunken American Navy can no longer sustain the pax Americana that was essential for global economic trade, as we first began to see during the Houthi terrorism of 2024. Our insistence on promoting absurd postmodern social justice issues has made us an international joke. And more embarrassing still, our weakened position has forced us into ignominious hypocrisy as we must kowtow to nations—like communist Venezuela or Wahhabi Saudi Arabia—that stand against the principles of egalitarianism and social justice that we so vociferously espouse. And the future—but for your meteoric ascent to power—suggested only more of the same.

Our Founders were men of great intellectual talent and moral probity. They could quote Plutarch and use a rifle with equal ease. And they were American, through and through. These were our elites. Now, by contrast, we have vulgar, effete, cosmopolitan robber barons who identify more with the people in Paris or Dubai than those in Tulsa or Phoenix. And it is the duty of a monarch to defend the people from the unjust exploitation of such “elites.”

I think the time is arrived for a President to wield monarchical power. Perhaps it is already too late. Regardless, it is your duty to try. As Napoleon said: “The tools belong to the man who can use them.” So take up the tools needed to save this nation. You will face terrible adversity, to be sure. Boils do not long to be lashed. And decades of smothering, egalitarian mediocrity have deprived most people of any ability to conceive of the sort of great political deeds that would have seemed routine to our frontier forebears. You must remind them that such deeds are possible. It may even take longer than eight years. But this too has a solution. It has been said that in 1776, Washington was the Cincinnatus this Republic needed. Now, closing in on three centuries hence—and as the nation teeters on the edge of demise—We the People need you to be its Julius. Under your leadership, hope yet glimmers for the resurgence and prosperity of the American Empire!


Attorney General, John A. Bellicus


[i] Brig Amy Warwick, 67 U.S. (2 Black) 635, 665 (1863); see also The Congressional Act of 1795.

[ii] In re Neagle, 135 U.S. 1, 40 (1890).

[iii] A 2023 report estimated the social-program cost of low-skilled and illegal immigration at 94 billion dollars, but the number has skyrocketed since then. See The Net Fiscal Costs of Low-skilled and Illegal Immigration for the U.S. Taxpayer. U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget (2023).

[iv] Luther v. Borden, 48 U.S. (7 How.) 1, 72 (1849).

[v] Thomas Graham, Mexican cartels are the fifth-largest employers in the country, study finds, The Guardian (Sept. 21, 2023).

[vi] Zivotofsky, 576 U.S. at 13.

[vii] See Zivotofsky supra note 16.

[viii] Seminole Tribe of Fla. v. Fla., 517 U.S. 44, 69 (1996); see also Curtis A. Bradley, Historical Gloss and Foreign Affairs: Constitutional Authority in Practice (Harvard University Press forthcoming).

[ix] United States v. Texas, 599 U.S. __ at 7. (2023).

[x] United States v. Tingey, 30 U.S. 115, 125 (1831).

[xi] Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 635 (1952).

[xii] See 8 U.S.C. § 1225 (b).

[xiii] See Curtis A. Bradley, Historical Gloss and Foreign Affairs: Constitutional Authority

in Practice (Harvard University Press forthcoming).

[xiv] See Shane, Bruff, & Kinkopf, Separation of Powers Law 1005-07 (2018) (listing the many presidential military instigations after the War Powers Resolution).

[xv] Professor John Yoo, Lessons from the United States’ Showdown with the Barbary Pirates, AEI Op-Ed (January 15, 2020).

[xvi] Proclamation 2914 (Dec. 16 1950).

[xvii] Youngstown, 343 U.S. at 582.

[xviii] Vermeule, A Principle of Immigration Priority, MIRROR OF JUSTICE (July 20, 2019).

[xix] Forrest McDonald, Novus Ordo Seclorum, The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution 180 (1985).

[xx] Id. at 182.

[xxi] Id. at 182-83.

[xxii] Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash, Imperial From the Beginning; The Constitution of the Original Executive 16 (2015).

[xxiii] The Federalist No. 51 (James Madison).

[xxiv] Martin Gilens & Benjamin Page, Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens, Perspectives on Politics, Cambridge University Press (2014); see also Gallup Poll, In your view, should immigration be kept at its present level, increased or decreased? (2024) (poll showing consistent, majority bipartisan support for maintain or reducing the immigration rate since 1965).

[xxv] Moira Warburton, Why Congress is Becoming Less Productive, Reuters (March 12, 2024).

[xxvi] Corrinne Burns, Antidepressant prescribing increases by 35% in six years (July 8, 2022) (showing a startling increase of anti-depressant prescriptions in the US); see also Justin McCarthy, Happiness Not Quite as Widespread as Usual in the U.S., Gallup (January 10, 2020) (showing lower self-reported happiness in U.S.).

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