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News & Politics News & Politics

President Obama's deep contempt for the rule of law

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In January, a unanimous Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit held that the president violated the Constitution by making "recess appointments" when the Senate was not, in fact, in recess.

If you think this is just another one of those dry, lawyerly technicalities, think again. One of the Constitution’s essential checks and balances is the requirement of Senate "advice and consent" for presidential appointments. The Recess Appointments Clause of Article II provides a narrow exception to that requirement: the president can fill executive branch vacancies that occur between Congress’s official sessions.

Last year, President Obama became the first president to make “recess appointments” while the Senate was still in session when he appointed three members of the National Labor Relations Board.

As the current Chief Executive asserts dominion over the other two branches, we are in danger of losing our government of laws.

In trying to defend Obama’s power grab, the administration revealed its deep contempt for the rule of law. As the DC Circuit’s opinion makes clear, the administration had argued that the president should have the sole, unfettered discretion to determine when the Senate is in "recess," constitutionally speaking. Under this theory, the president could literally wait until the Senate is on a lunch break, and then quickly appoint Chuck Hagel to the Pentagon -- and nobody could second guess him. This assertion was so brazen that a shocked Court of Appeals flatly declared: "This will not do.” The president’s interpretation of the Recess Appointments Clause “would demolish the checks and balances inherent in the advice-and-consent requirement,” said the Court.

The president’s attempted end-run around the Constitution should come as no surprise to those of us who have watched the decline of the rule of law these last four years. The president’s first term began, let us recall, with an auto “bailout” that robbed Chrysler bondholders to pay off the United Auto Workers.

When the Supreme Court recognized the free speech rights of corporations in Citizens United v. FEC, Obama first resorted to public humiliation of the justices on national TV. He later prepared an executive order that sought to coerce corporations from making political contributions under pain of forfeiting government contracts. It was only when news of the pending order leaked out that the administration quietly dropped the whole thing.

Under the Constitution, the president’s primary duty in domestic affairs is to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” There’s no mystery about this imperative: it does no good for the People’s representatives to enact laws if the executive branch fails to implement the laws. And yet, the president has taken a pick-and-choose approach to this vital duty. 

Obama did not like Bill Clinton’s Defense of Marriage Act, for example, so he declared that he wasn’t going to defend it. And he has routinely failed to enforce federal immigration laws; most egregiously in his executive order unilaterally exempting 800,000 illegal immigrants from the scope of federal law. Congress was not consulted. Why bother?

Whereas President Clinton signed landmark legislation to “end welfare as we know it,” President Obama has been exempting states from the law’s workfare requirements, even though the welfare reform law gives him no such power.

As a senator, Obama railed against George W. Bush’s anti-terror wiretapping program. As president, Obama claims the power to kill any person – even US citizens – via drone strikes without congressional authorization.

In 1780, future president John Adams wrote that separation of powers was essential to maintaining “a government of laws and not of men.” As the current Chief Executive asserts dominion over the other two branches, we are in danger of losing our government of laws.

Adam Freedman covers legal affairs for Ricochet.  His latest book is The Naked Constitution: What the Founders Said and Why It Still Matters (Broadside Books).



by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 6:03 AM
Replies (11-18):
sweet-a-kins
by Ruby Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 8:10 PM
Yes , the congress wasn't in recess, they just abdicated their jobs ...

Do you know what they were doing at this time?


Quoting Billiejeens:

 


 Regardless of who wrote it, is there a particular sentence in there that you can prove is a factual lie?


Quoting sweet-a-kins:


The only credit I see I went too and it's a bias buffoon site


Quoting Carpy:


It is credited, why do you need a link?


Quoting sweet-a-kins:


nope the OP is bullsh*t as usual..notice no LINK to this garabage


Quoting Carpy:


Your response is no surprise, since you share that contempt.


Quoting sweet-a-kins:


sidesplittinglaughter










 


 

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
143myboys9496
by Gold Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:30 PM
3 moms liked this

 Doesn't matter what congress was doing at the time..if it was an unlawful time for Barry to make an appointment..then he shouldn't have done it. Period.

It doesn't matter if congress was: praying, tapping a keg, voting, deliberating/arguing a bill, sipping coffee, grilling shrimp on the 'barbie', or in the middle of an orgy...

As president of our country under NO circumstances is he exempt from following the law..he took an oath for crying out loud..

Honestly, I kinda think he's more able than he's acting..

 

The Oath of Office:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

 

Quoting sweet-a-kins:

Yes , the congress wasn't in recess, they just abdicated their jobs ...

Do you know what they were doing at this time?


Quoting Billiejeens:

 


 Regardless of who wrote it, is there a particular sentence in there that you can prove is a factual lie?


Quoting sweet-a-kins:


The only credit I see I went too and it's a bias buffoon site


Quoting Carpy:


It is credited, why do you need a link?


Quoting sweet-a-kins:


nope the OP is bullsh*t as usual..notice no LINK to this garabage


Quoting Carpy:


Your response is no surprise, since you share that contempt.


Quoting sweet-a-kins:


sidesplittinglaughter










 


 

 

sweet-a-kins
by Ruby Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:44 PM
They were the ones preferring the law

Quoting 143myboys9496:

 Doesn't matter what congress was doing at the time..if it was an unlawful time for Barry to make an appointment..then he shouldn't have done it. Period.


It doesn't matter if congress was: praying, tapping a keg, voting, deliberating/arguing a bill, sipping coffee, grilling shrimp on the 'barbie', or in the middle of an orgy...


As president of our country under NO circumstances is he exempt from following the law..he took an oath for crying out loud..


Honestly, I kinda think he's more able than he's acting..


 


The Oath of Office:


I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.


 


Quoting sweet-a-kins:

Yes , the congress wasn't in recess, they just abdicated their jobs ...

Do you know what they were doing at this time?



Quoting Billiejeens:


 



 Regardless of who wrote it, is there a particular sentence in there that you can prove is a factual lie?



Quoting sweet-a-kins:



The only credit I see I went too and it's a bias buffoon site



Quoting Carpy:



It is credited, why do you need a link?



Quoting sweet-a-kins:



nope the OP is bullsh*t as usual..notice no LINK to this garabage



Quoting Carpy:



Your response is no surprise, since you share that contempt.



Quoting sweet-a-kins:



sidesplittinglaughter















 



 


 

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
jcrew6
by Jenney on Feb. 7, 2013 at 11:45 PM
1 mom liked this

Do you think the Courts didn't rule the Obama admin acted unconstitutionally? 

Quoting sweet-a-kins:

sidesplittinglaughter



Farmlady09
by Silver Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 2:41 AM
2 moms liked this

The president isn't supposed to 'gamble' or try to go around Congress. He's supposed to uphold the law (which he swore an oath to do). Congress isn't a president's 'make a wish foundation'. Congress and the SC are both there to balance out the power, to prevent each other from doing something unConstitutional, to keep the checks and balances in place and functioning.

For a supposed Constitutional scholar, O keeps right on demonstrating that he either doesn't CARE what the Constitution says, or he doesn't KNOW ~ so which is it? Or ... are mysterious little gremlins sneaking into the oval office and twisting his arm so that all the meany head republicans can yell at him? The fact that any of you laugh at this or try and make others agree that it's ok completely flabbers my gast.

What he did (and has been doing) is not funny, nor is it acceptable. If this is the way the president acts why should any citizen act any better? Why should 'we' follow any of the laws in the Constitution? Do we get to pick and choose? Do we get to gripe that 'it gets in our way' and have any court pat us on the head and say "nevermind, carry on"? The president is no more above the law than any one citizen, and if HE spits on it, either he needs to be held accountable, or everyone should be off the hook (and that includes to all those regulatory agencies that also bypass Congress and the checks and balances!).


Quoting jaxTheMomm:

We've already been over this.

This was a measured gamble.  The "senate" was meeting for a few minutes a day, just a few members, in order to claim they were actuall in session.  They didn't do anything more than stand up, announce they were in session, and then be done.

All so that nothing could get done.  Therefore, the POTUS gambled, and tried to go around them.  It's rather odd the article fails to mention any of this.

Now, that doesn't seem very respectful of the constitution, nor the American people, either.  Faking a meeting just so nothing gets done?

But that wasn't the case the DC circuit court heard.


 

Raintree
by Silver Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:09 AM

I think both legislative houses are a giant clusterfuck.

And I think that when nothing gets done, they will blame the president. I think that if he does anything, they will blame the president.

They're bullies. This is what bullies do, point fingers.

little.worthen
by Tess on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:17 AM
1 mom liked this
This is why it amazes me that he is in office. I don't get how people can be okay with him breaking laws and doing whatever he wants. Regardless of what the senate was doing, Obama didn't follow proper procedure. He just decides to do something and does it his way, and screw what everyone else says, including the constitution.
Seriously how can people possibly be proud of THIS man when he can't even uphold his oath and the laws of the land? I am EMBARRASSED to say I'm an American because this man is the head of my country.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:31 AM

 

In all honesty it comes down to this, we have to reach a consensus on the three major issues of the time,

(1) can 4% of the population born with a defective gene marry each other?

(2) can we provide 24 hour birth control at no cost?

(3) can we provide 24 abortion services a no cost?

If we can hammer this out, we can work on trivial issues such as The Constitution.

Quoting little.worthen:

This is why it amazes me that he is in office. I don't get how people can be okay with him breaking laws and doing whatever he wants. Regardless of what the senate was doing, Obama didn't follow proper procedure. He just decides to do something and does it his way, and screw what everyone else says, including the constitution.
Seriously how can people possibly be proud of THIS man when he can't even uphold his oath and the laws of the land? I am EMBARRASSED to say I'm an American because this man is the head of my country.


 

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