Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Lawless Obama Administration

“as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.”

--Thomas Paine

The conservative Weekly Standard’s Jeffrey H. Anderson presents a detailed record of the current administration’s disinterest in the law. It seems we have a king surrounded by sycophants, including a supine media, resulting in a cast-aside legal system. It resembles the American colonies in 1776, the time of Thomas Paine’s The American Crisis.

Herewith, Anderson’s bill of particulars documenting Obama administration illegalities:
  • President Obama in 2012 announced he would no longer deport illegal immigrants under 30 years of age, after having said a year earlier:
With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books. .  .  . Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. .  .  . There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply, through executive order, ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.
  • This July, Obama unilaterally suspended for a year Obamacare’s employer mandate—its requirement that most businesses provide government-sanctioned health insurance—even though the law said the suspended section “shall apply to months beginning after December 31, 2013.” Asked whether his successor could “pick and choose whether they’ll implement your law and keep it in place,” Obama replied: “I didn’t simply choose to delay this on my own. This was in consultation with businesses all across the country.” Obama has thereby rewritten Article II of the Constitution; henceforth the president shall take care that the Laws be faithfully executed unless he and businessmen decide differently. 
  • When the House of Representatives proposed legislation later in July to delay Obamacare’s employer mandate by law, in the wake of Obama’s decision to delay it by executive fiat, the White House called the legislation “unnecessary” and promised a veto. Republicans and 35 Democrats nevertheless passed authorizing legislation through the House. Several weeks later, Obama—as if having forgotten this initiative—declared that, in “a normal political environment,” he could easily have gotten the House to pass legislation delaying the employer mandate, but “we’re not in a normal political atmosphere,” so he had no choice but to act unilaterally. 
  • After congressional members denounced Obama’s claim that the president possesses unilateral authority to suspend the law, Obama told the New York Times, “if Congress thinks that what I’ve done is inappropriate or wrong in some fashion, they’re free to make that case. .  .  . But ultimately, I’m not concerned about their opinions—very few of them, by the way, are lawyers, much less constitutional lawyers.” 
  • In an effort to keep Obamacare insurance costs from rising even more than they are already have, Obama suspended the legislation’s mandated caps on out-of-pocket health costs. 
  • Obama unilaterally suspended the law’s income-verification requirements for its state-based exchanges, which means that massive quantities of taxpayer-funded subsidies will now flow out based on the “honor system.” Yet the plain text of Obamacare says such subsidies cannot flow through its federally run exchanges (only through its state-run ones), but Obama is proceeding as if this legal limitation didn’t exist. 
  • Though Obamacare doesn’t provide exchange subsidies for those making over $100,000 a year, Obama personally had the Office of Personnel Management rule, contrary to the legislative text, that such subsidies can now flow to a certain subset of those making six figures: those working in Congress. 
  •  Obama has failed to meet more than half of the legal deadlines specified in Obamacare. 
  • After seeking U.N. rather than congressional authorization to intervene in Libya, Obama violated the War Powers Act. Offering no pretense that the act is unconstitutional—the only reasonably justifiable basis for ignoring it—he refused to obey the 60-day deadline for gaining congressional authorization for continued use of the armed forces. Even ABC News reported, “this is the first time an American president has defied the War Powers Resolution’s deadline for participation in combat operations without any concurrent steps by Congress to fund or otherwise authorize the role.” 
  • In an effort to circumvent the advice-and-consent role of the Senate (controlled by his own party), Obama made three “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) while the Senate was in session. A federal appellate court declared the appointments unconstitutional on the basis that recess appointments must be made during recesses. Obama’s press secretary Jay Carney opined that the decision “does not have any impact.” With the White House’s blessing, the illegally constituted NLRB issues rulings as if the court’s decision had never been rendered. 
  • Obama ignored the mid-1990s welfare-reform law when he allowed states to strip the “work” out of workfare. 
  • Obama has refused to enforce federal marijuana laws. 
  • Obama has neglected—in the wake of the revelation that his economic “stimulus” was costing taxpayers $278,000 per job—to release timely reports in the manner that’s mandated by the text of the “stimulus” legislation. 
Anderson reminds us that in contrast to Chicago’s Obama, a young Springfield Illinai, Abraham Lincoln, preached steadfast regard for the law and warned his fellow countrymen to beware of leaders who might use lawless means to achieve their ends. Lincoln argued that “the history of the world tells us” that “supporting and maintaining [a constitutional] edifice that has been erected by others” will not satisfy certain “men of ambition and talents” as they “seek the gratification of their ruling passion.” When encountering such threats, Lincoln said, the solution is to rely on the people’s “general intelligence,” “sound morality,” and “reverence for the constitution and laws.”

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