Before Barack Hussein Obama became the Chief Executive of the United States, the examples of extra-constitutional excess in that office were few and far between.
Yes, we heard the charge ad nauseum from liberal Democrats that President George W. Bush acted “illegally” in Iraq, but were never given any actual examples except that the invasion of Iraq was without U.N. authorization. But of course, the U.N. appears no where in the U.S. Constitution and the war in Iraq was authorized by both houses of Congress by majorities of both parties. On the contrary, President Obama has acted in Libya without congressional authorization, but this defense hawk with a broad view of Commander-in-Chief powers doesn’t characterize even that leading-from-behind to be “illegal” even if ill-advised.
In any event, the “tempting” I speak of is the one written of by the late author* and D.C. Circuit Court Judge, Robert Bork that concerned how judges have increasingly over the past century used their trusted position as preservers of the law to impose their politically desired results with decisions masked by the language of constitutional legitimacy. A weak point in our system has always been that it depended upon judges, if they were to be the final arbiter of what the Constitution means, to exercise “judicial restraint” and only apply the laws the people enact through their elected representatives. For if a court of “activist” judges ignore the Constitution, then the revolution has been overthrown and we are once more ruled by a King or Oligarchs.
And of course, the examples of liberal judicial activism are legion, beginning with Dred Scott (blacks have no rights) and Plessy v Ferguson (separate but equal) in the 19th century through Wickard v Filburn (private property rights in crops for food) and Roe v. Wade (abortion) in the 20th Century. Then in the 21st Century we all suffer from the collaboration of Chief Justice Roberts and four liberal Democrat appointees with President Obama and the exclusively liberal Democrats that passed Obamacare to approve its underpinning of the individual mandate as a “tax” with illogical and pretzel-like “reasoning”.
But at least we have gotten “used to” activist judges acting like passively on cases and controversies brought before them. But for a President of the United States bound by the powers conferred in Article II to faithfully execute the laws, especially in domestic and economic affairs, to usurp Article I powers to make law is almost unprecedented.
Moreover, in the oil drilling moratorium case after the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama defied a federal court order to end the illegal deep-water-oil-drilling-moratorium. His cute “legal” device was to “end” the particular moratorium begun weeks earlier and issue a “new” moratorium. Any other private party that tried to trick a court with such antics would have have been held in contempt and fined or imprisoned.
But it is how the Obama Administration has “made law’ out of whole cloth by “executive fiat” (a term heretofore nearly unheard of in American life) that is so unique and disturbing:
- Amnesty granted to young illegals brought here as minors by parents or others granted by President Obama even after Congress rejected the Dream Act, of which the imposed amnesty was a part;
- Ended the work requirements of the Gingrich-Clinton welfare reform law without congressional approval;
- Expansion of EPA regulations to conduct a war on coal, fossil fuel-power plants, and affordable energy in general;
- Granted exemptions from Obamacare to Congress, their staffs and the White House staff; and
- Delays and substantive changes to Obamacare mandates.
The only act of another Presidents that comes to mind as being on par with the above was when President Harry Truman attempted to seize the steel industry, much of which was shut down by striking workers, during the Korean War. President Truman cited his powers as Commander in Chief to seize the means to make armaments. But the Supreme Court, while recognizing the broadness of Article II powers, rejected that claim since Congress had specifically enacted a law prohibiting such an act by the president.
It appears, especially with the U.S. Senate having abdicated its powers to be Obama’s sock puppet, and given the actions of five lawyers in robes to approve the un-American ACA that forces us to buy a product, there is no check on the powers of King Obama except what he thinks he can get away with.
The next three years with an already tempted-and-been-found-wanting-Chief, with plummeting polls, could prove a quite perilous ride. And with no Watergate Era-Howard Bakers in the Dem Party, no one can imagine what Obama could do that would prick the numbed-to-non-existent consciences of Senate to remove the Lawless one from office, even if the House Republicans mustered the courage to impeach.
*The Tempting of America:The Political Seduction of the Law (1990) by Robert Bork
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
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