Thursday, January 16, 2014

Is This What You Want For A President?

Is this what you want as a president?  Can you give an example where President Bush did this?  Do you want a Republican president, and there will be another one eventually, to conduct himself as President Obama has?
The Constitution, many of us learned in grade school, assigns the legislative power to the legislative branch, not the executive. The Constitution also commands that the president “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Unfortunately, President Obama either missed that lesson or considers it inapplicable to his own administration. Thus, his promise-cum-threat, made in the heat of last year’s campaign: “Where Republicans refuse to cooperate on things that I know are good for the American people, I will continue to look for ways to do it administratively and work around Congress.”

Obama has delivered on his promise and worked around Congress with breathtaking audacity. In his signature legislative achievement alone, the Affordable Care Act, the president has unilaterally amended the law multiple times, including delaying the employer mandate and caps on out-of-pocket expenses, waiving the individual mandate for certain people, extending tax credits to individuals who purchase insurance through the federal health insurance exchange and ignoring a statutory requirement that Congress and their staff participate in the exchanges. But the president’s audacity doesn’t stop with Obamacare. He has also suspended immigration law, refusing to deport certain young illegal aliens—a major reform that Congress has refused to enact. Similarly, with the stroke of a magisterial pen, he has gutted large swaths of federal law that enjoy bipartisan support, including the Clinton-era welfare reform work requirement, the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law and the classification of marijuana as an illegal controlled substance.

So much for the separation of powers.


Jerry Doctor said...

"and there will be another one eventually'

I only wish I could be that optimistic.

maxutils said...

The use of executive orders has increased dramatically in my lifetime, and is becoming increasingly Constitutionally suspect. Particularly with regard to the suspension of certain provisions of Obamacare... However... when was the last time a president actually enforced immigration law? I guess if you commit a felony, or something, you COULKD be deported, but more likely we pay to have you sit in one of our prisons. Congress and Obamacare? I don't pretend to know the nuances of the bill, but my understanding is that if your employer provides health care, you don't need to use the exchange ... that's true for Congress, and I believe it was amended to include their staff. As for marijuana? Whoever wrote this is nuts. After running on a platform of tolerance for states that wanted to allow medicinal (at that time, WA and CO hadn't proposed recreational use), Obama, through Eric Holder, ratcheted up enforcement and harassment on legal marijuana clinics ... he has NEVER signed anything to decriminalize it, despite his acknowledgement that he regularly used it in his youth... And, while we're criticizing the lack of knowledge of the constitution ... until you sell marijuana across state lines, it's a states's rights issue. Obama should have no say on it.

Anonymous said...

Maxutils: "And, while we're criticizing the lack of knowledge of the constitution ... until you sell marijuana across state lines, it's a states's rights issue. Obama should have no say on it."

This *SHOULD* be the case, but ever since the Wickard v. Filburn (*) US Supreme Court ruling, it is no. A farmer growing wheat on his own land to feed his own animals was ruled (by the US Supreme Court) to be "interstate commerce" and thus something that could be regulated by the federal government.

I am not a lawyer, but using this as a precedent, I see no obvious check on federal power vs state's rights (but note at the 1995 United States v. Lopez *did* see a limit, so there may be one).

Finally, from Wikipedia: "The Supreme Court has since relied heavily on Filburn in upholding the power of the federal government to prosecute individuals who grow their own medicinal marijuana pursuant to state law. The Supreme Court subsequently held that, as with the home-grown wheat at issue in the present case, home-grown marijuana is a legitimate subject of federal regulation because it competes with marijuana that moves in interstate commerce."

-Mark Roulo

(*) Wikipedia has a reasonable writeup of the case.

maxutils said...

Mark ... I agree with you that the Supreme Court has completely abrogated it's responsibility to uphold the Constitution by ridiculously ruling that virtually everything that the federal government wants to do do is legal, due to the interstate commerce clause ... (I think that's what you're saying ;)) but that doesn't mean it's correct... as you noted. I honestly don't see how you can enforce an interstate commerce clause, if there is no interstate commerce ...and I don't know how Washington is going to approach marijuana sales, but Colorado is already placing 'amnesty boxes' where people who thought they could take pot out of state can turn it over...that's the opposite of interstate commerce. I continue to grow increasingly disheartened with the Supreme Court. As smart and as articulate as Scalia is, it often appears to me that he hasn't read the Constitution ... and Thomas certainly hasn't, because he just asks Scalia how he's going to vote. Roberts sealed Obamacare, claiming it not to be a tax ... What? And the liberals are just as predictable and bad. Anthony Kennedy is the only one who seems to actually consider the issue, then apply the constitution to it ...

Anonymous said...

"Roberts sealed Obamacare, claiming it not to be a tax ... What?"

Roberts sealed Obamacare by claiming that it *WAS* a tax. The individual mandate (ie, you must purchase insurance from an insurance company) was ruled to be a tax. If it hadn't been, then I think the law would have been struck down as unconstitutional.

I don't understand how forcing someone to purchase something is a tax, but then I don't understand how taking someone's property and giving it to a company is eminent domain, either :-)

-Mark Roulo