Less than a day after the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Obama’s use of recess appointment powers was unconstitutional, the White House was still threatening to use executive action to install amnesty if Congress doesn’t roll over and go along with the president’s plan.
“We’re not just going to sit around and wait interminably for Congress,” said Press Secretary Josh Earnest during an interview on MSNBC. “We’ve been waiting a year already. The president has tasked his Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson with reviewing what options are available to the president, what is at his disposal using his executive authority to try to address some of the problems that have been created by our broken immigration system.”
The Supreme Court’s ruling can’t help but bolster Speaker of the House John Boehner’s effort to sue the president for his imperial abuse of his authority. But even on the point, Obama remains defiant, telling George Stephanopolous, “I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something while they’re doing nothing.”
In the Supreme Court case, Obama had abused his powers to appoint three members to the National Labor Relations Board while the Senate was still holding pro forma sessions for the purpose of preventing him from using the recess appointment powers outlined in the Constitution. The court refused to be dragged into the Obama Administration’s parsing of what the Senate was doing during those sessions and ruled simply that the sessions were legal, meaning Obama tried to use his recess powers during what amounted to a three-day break that the court ruled was inadequate to invoke recess appointment powers.
In summary, the Congress was doing its job by rejecting the president’s nominees, Obama didn’t feel like the law applied to him and used an executive order to try to get his way despite the law.
As Justice Stephen Breyer wrote, “The Recess Appointments Clause is not designed to overcome serious institutional friction. It simply provides a subsidiary method for appointing officials when the Senate is away during a recess. Here, as in other contexts, friction between the branches is an inevitable consequence of our constitutional structure.”
Memo from SCOTUS to POTUS: It’s called checks and balances. Live with it.
But Earnest’s remark that the White House isn’t going to “sit around and wait interminably” shows that Obama has no intention of accepting the Constitution’s checks and balances. He thinks he’s king, therefore he should get his way.
The rest of the Democratic Party seems to have trouble accepting the law as it is, as well.
On Thursday, after the Supreme Court decision, Sen. Dick Durbin likened Speaker of the House John Boehner’s plan for a lawsuit against Obama to Gen. George B. McClellan’s dispute with Abraham Lincoln. Eventually, Lincoln removed McClellan for refusing to aggressively engage the Confederate Army. Lincoln famously snarked that if Gen. McClellan wasn’t going to use the Army, he would like to borrow it for a while.
Durbin added, “That is what we’re facing on immigration.”
As usual, the Democrats’ view of what’s going on is clouded by their foggy vision of reality. The speaker of the House is not a general, and Congress is not an army at the president’s command. Congress is there to look after the interests of American citizens, which means supporting the president when appropriate and standing in his way when he’s suffering from buttockal craniatis — aka butthead syndrome — which in this president’s case is most of the time.
And Congress’s job, despite what liberals think, isn’t simply to pass law after law after law, but to pass laws that are necessary to keep the country functioning, improve it where needed, and keep narcissistic fascists from hoping and changing America into oblivion. Admittedly, they’ve been very weak on all three points, but largely because the majority of the Senate and a large number in the House are marching in lockstep with Der President.
After the court’s ruling, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote about Obama’s power abuses in a statement: “Whether it’s recess appointments or Obamacare, this troubling approach does serious damage to the rule of law, and the court’s decision is a clear rebuke of the administration’s behavior. The president made an unprecedented power grab by placing political allies at a powerful federal agency while the Senate was meeting regularly and without even bothering to wait for its advice and consent. A unanimous Supreme Court has rejected this brazen power-grab.”
It’s unlikely the rebuke will sink into Obama’s thick skull. He has made it his mission to nullify Congress. Will Obama now complete his power grab and ignore the Supreme Court as well?