New Hickory

Colonel Mike Angley

Andrew Jackson was America’s 7th President from 1829 to 1837. Prior to becoming the nation’s Chief Executive, he was a military general, famous for his decisive leadership in the War of 1812. His troops often said that he was ‘tough as old hickory’ wood in combat, a phrase that later inspired his moniker, ‘Old Hickory.’

His toughness – if not downright stubbornness – continued throughout his presidency. Old Hickory frequently was at odds with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Marshall and a series of clashes occurred that pitted the Executive and Judicial Branches of government against each other.

The Constitution’s checks and balances became NHL-quality body slams as Jackson simply ignored court decisions with which he disagreed, vociferously showing his displeasure and disdain. Had he had a Twitter account, there’s little doubt President Jackson would have taken to it to fire broadsides against what he perceived to be an activist court.

Keep in mind that the concept of judicial review – not found in the Constitution – was adopted by the Supreme Court via the 1803 watershed decision in Marbury vs. Madison. When Old Hickory was in the White House, the Court was still getting its sea legs adjusted to the nascent concept of judicial review. I wrote about this in a piece back in February, ‘Hey, Judiciary…You’re Not the Boss of Me!

One of the best known smackdowns President Jackson delivered came with the Court’s decision in Worcester vs. Georgia in 1832. It was a complicated case involving the removal of American Indians from their land in Georgia, with Andrew Jackson was on the side of removal. The Court’s decision relied upon its new, self-granted power of judicial review and was a decisive blow to the President. It is said that upon learning of the Court’s ruling, Old Hickory commented, ‘John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it.’

In other words, President Jackson knew that no matter what the Judicial Branch decided, enforcement of law was a responsibility of the Executive Branch. As the Chief Executive, Jackson was simply stating he would not enforce what the Supreme Court decided was ‘good law.’ Since the Court has no power to enforce its decisions, Old Hickory made it clear that even the power of judicial review was toothless if the Executive chose to ignore it.

Which brings us to today. Perhaps we need a New Hickory to stare down a Judicial Branch that has become a runaway train of left wing hopes and dreams where decisions increasingly are made based upon ideology and less so on law and the Constitution. It’s no longer even a case of judicial review – that’s at least now a respectable process when the Constitution is used as a framework for reviewing law.

What we have today are activist liberals, left wing hacks, Democrat Party operatives, socialist sycophants, and Marxist minions masquerading as judges and justices, hiding behind the respectability of black robes. Strip away the vestments and you have flea-infested hippie community organizers in Che Guevara t-shirts and Birkenstock crocs with raised fists.

In the recent court rulings against President Trump’s immigration bans, liberal courts have ignored the law and skirted judicial review. Instead, they’ve cast decision-making in policy terms (not their turf) or have gone outside the words in the Executive Orders they’re asked to interpret, citing things Candidate Trump said on the campaign trail. In every case, decisions are announced with the dripping, syrupy drivel of progressive emotion: ‘unfair,’ ‘religious bias,’ and ‘not who we are.’

One can only imagine how Andrew Jackson would react to decisions like these. Perhaps he’d mount a horse, stride gallantly to each of the courts with a well-regulated militia in tow and arrest and detain the malcontent judges. As satisfying a fantasy as it is, we’re stuck with modern problems that require contemporary solutions, but there’s still room for some old-fashioned hickory-switch-against-the-ass application.

A New Hickory is needed, and not since the early 1800s has America had a president better-suited for such a role as Donald J. Trump. Symbols abound. Not long after his swearing in, President Trump had a portrait of Andrew Jackson installed in the Oval Office. Recently, he visited Jackson’s grave site during a stop in Nashville, TN. One wonders if he’s signaling to the Judicial Branch that he not only draws inspiration from Old Hickory, but that he’s about to take these runaway judges to the woodshed.

I want national security and the safety of all Americans to prevail, and if that means eight years of President Trump tied up in Gordian knots of legal wranglings, then so be it. Mr. Trump needs to ignore these flawed court decisions, reassert the power of the Executive, and protect the American people.

Obama had a pen and a phone and never shied from using them to suit his needs. Trump has those too, along with a GOP-controlled Congress and a movement of spirited, grass-roots Americans who have his back.

America needs a New Hickory. Mr. Trump, be that stubborn mule of a president and set these liberal activist courts back on their heels. Enforce federal law and Executive Orders, seek new laws in Congress, and proceed with implementing every campaign promise regardless of what the courts say.

Colonel Michael (“Mike”) Angley is retired from the United States Air Force, a published thriller author, and a conservative writer who fashions himself as Attila the Hun with a laptop. Mike wrote for Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government and Big Peace blogs before the Breitbart consolidation, receiving superb feedback and kudos for typically weaving in pop culture references with his far right perspectives. He enjoys writing about military affairs, national security issues, and politics and is an avid Second Amendment advocate. When he’s not writing, he’s busy annoying liberals with FaceBook posts and Twitter tweets that point out the obvious flaws and fallacies of the left.

During his 26-year USAF career, the Colonel was a Special Agent with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). The OSI is a sister agency to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and has an identical mission that includes felony-level criminal, fraud, and narcotics investigations as well as counterintelligence and counterterrorism operations. His USAF experiences spanned multiple regions around the globe with five command assignments and duties at foreign, regional, theater and national levels.

He is a seasoned counterintelligence and counterespionage officer from the Cold War era, and if you ask him he’ll tell you the spy-vs-spy days were indeed the heady, glory era of espionage. During the latter half of his career he focused on counterterrorism missions in the Middle East and the Far East and operationalized many of today’s concepts for this unique arena while working the sand dunes of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and a few other “choice” locations. When Colonel Angley retired in 2007, he was a Senior Supervisory Special Agent and was in command of all worldwide OSI matters at Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs, CO.

Mike Angley is also a published, award-winning author of three thriller novels in the “Child Finder” trilogy. His debut novel, “Child Finder,” received a glowing review from the Library Journal which placed it on its Summer Reading list in 2009. “Child Finder” and its companion sequel novels all won various awards from the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) and the Public Safety Writers Association. In 2012, Mike was named MWSA’s “Author of the Year,” largely for work on his third novel, “Child Finder: Revelation.”

As an avid user of social media, Mike can be found and friended on Facebook (mike.angley) and followed on Twitter (@MikeAngley). His website is Following his USAF retirement, Mike and his family stayed in Colorado Springs, CO where they enjoy daily, majestic views of Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains.