Barack Obama’s unconstitutional and illegal power grabs have not gone unnoticed and are beginning to trouble more than just those few of us in the conservative Blogsphere.
posted at 8:01 pm on December 3, 2013 by Allahpundit
Good stuff from Jonathan Turley at today’s House hearing on executive power, although I regret that I couldn’t find a more user-friendly format for you to watch. There’s no compilation clip; you’ll have to make do with the C-SPAN embed by fast-forwarding to the time cues I give you and being patient while the vid buffers (and buffers, and buffers). At 1:10:55 he describes the “royal prerogative” that the Constitution was designed to eliminate but which Obama, through the growth of the administrative state and his own expansive view of executive discretion, is now flirting with. At 2:53:45, he applies that concept to O’s war powers, specifically vis-a-vis Libya and the White House “kill list.” If you have time for only one snippet, though, skip to 2:33:00 for his list of Obama’s five most egregious violations of separation of powers. Some are familiar to you — declaring that he wouldn’t deport illegals who might qualify for DREAM, refusing to enforce the employer mandate, etc — but the ones about him shifting money around without regard to how Congress has appropriated it might not be. Turley makes two valuable points here. One: Courts tend to give the executive a wide berth in separation-of-powers challenges on the theory that Congress has the power of the purse and can defund any executive agency it likes. But that’s not true anymore, he says. Obama, by defying appropriations, has claimed some of that power for himself. What check does Congress have left? That brings us to point two: Even if Congress can’t stop Obama, the courts can. The problem there, though, says Turley, is that O and the DOJ have argued successfully in many cases that no one has standing to sue him because no one can show an injury from his power grabs that’s concrete enough to justify a federal lawsuit. So the courts can’t check him either.
Upon listening to Jonathan Turley during House hearings on executive power, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) had some rather pointed and interesting questions to ask of Turley. Seems like many of us in the conservative Blogsphere, Congressman Gowdy has serious reservations with regard to what Barack Obama is likely to do in the near future.
The post on Jonathan Turley’s testimony at yesterday’s House hearing was well received, so here’s another seven minutes on executive power grabs from the same proceeding. Simple question from Gowdy to the legal panel: How far can Obama go? Now that he’s claimed the royal prerogative to not enforce immigration law against young illegals, not enforce O-Care’s employer mandate against businesses, and not enforce the new rules about “essential benefits” against insurers who un-cancel old plans, what else can he choose not to enforce? If Congress imposes a mandatory minimum sentence for certain offenses, presumably Obama could refuse to enforce that by granting blanket commutations for thousands of people convicted of those offenses. Presumably he could also refuse to enforce election laws. Why not? What’s the limiting principle?
If you watched last night’s clip, you can guess Turley’s response. The takeaway from all of this, really, isn’t that there’s no limit on the president, it’s that there’s no way of enforcing the limit. You might very well get a bipartisan group of federal judges to agree with Turley that Obama’s over the line. But they can’t issue that ruling without first hearing the case, and the vagaries of the law on standing to sue are such that often there’s no one who’s legally empowered to bring that challenge. The most productive thing that could come out of this hearing, I think, is an effort in Congress to expand standing for challenges to executive power. Two big problems there, though. One: Good luck getting Democrats to go along with it, especially at a moment when O’s power grabs are keeping some of the nastier political backlash to O-Care at bay. By covering his ass, they’re covering their own. Two: Even if the Senate flips next year and O is somehow pressured politically into signing a bill that would constrain his own power (good luck with that too), standing’s not a simple matter of passing a bill. There are constitutional components to it that can’t be changed by statute. You’d need an amendment, and there’s bound to be resistance both in Congress and in the state legislatures to the idea of expanding the Constitution to let private citizens potentially gum up the executive branch with lawsuits by making standing broader.
With the chorus of Obama faithful, and a few imbecilic Republic’s Like Mitch McConnell, crying out for a repeal of the 22nd Amendment to allow Obama to serve a 3rd or even 4th term, the questions Congressman Gowdy asked of Jonathan Turley take on an ominous and menacing tone. These are suggested moves that bear a frightening resemblance to how numerous dictators have come to power. Most people do not like remembering that Adolph Hitler, Joesph Stalin and more recently, the now likewise deceased Venezuelan Dictator, Hugo Chavez came to power initially through what must even marginally be considered legitimate election processes. it was only once legitimately elected to office that their faithful followers were able to gain the political power to pervert their nations respective Constitutions to allow those dictators to completely seize power and lead their nation to utter and complete ruin.
Posted on | January 6, 2013 | 40 Comments
When I saw the news from Barbara Espinosa on Twitter this morning, I thought it was some kind of crazy joke:
Crazy as it is, however, it’s not a joke: Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) on Friday re-introduced as H.J. 15 the same bill he offered last year, “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment” — i.e., to end the two-term limit on the presidency, enabling Obama to be “President fo Life.”
The Twitchy Team is all over it, but as Barbara points out, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell this this thing could ever pass the ratification process. Of course, the Democrat Party’s contempt for the Constitution is so complete, they don’t care. They’d declare martial law, prohibit dissent as a “crime against the people” and govern by decree if it weren’t for the fact that conservatives are armed to the teeth. That probably explains why Obama is the greatest gun salesman in American history.
posted at 9:31 am on December 1, 2013 by Jazz Shaw
This is one of those issues which seems to pop up reliably during the second act of every two term presidency. Should we impose term limits on US Presidents and was the 22nd amendment really a good idea? It’s a concept which has been unofficially in place since the first President and was then enshrined in the constitution in 1951 as a backlash against FDR. Of course, the people most exuberant about the idea tend to be supporters of the current White House occupant and for all the wrong reasons. This cycle is no exception, with Jonathan Zimmerman taking to the pages of the Washington Post’s editorial section to argue that Barack Obama deserves a shot at a third term.
“I think our people are to be safely trusted with their own destiny,” Sen. Claude Pepper (D-Fla.) argued in 1947. “We do not need to protect the American people with a prohibition against a president whom they do not wish to elect; and if they wanted to elect him, have we the right to deny them the power?”
It’s time to put that power back where it belongs. When Ronald Reagan was serving his second term, some Republicans briefly floated the idea of removing term limits so he could run again. The effort went nowhere, but it was right on principle. Barack Obama should be allowed to stand for re election just as citizens should be allowed to vote for — or against — him. Anything less diminishes our leaders and ourselves.
Even if you are making the case that term limits shouldn’t apply to the presidency, it should be obvious that it’s a complete non-starter to try to apply it to the current president. The opposition party – in this case the Republicans – are never going to sign on for the 2/3 congressional vote which would be needed. If the opposition holds the White House and the President was popular enough to win back to back elections, you’re not going to risk a third bite at that apple, no matter how far his numbers may be in the tank today. In fact, Congress knew this when they passed the original language, making it non-applicable to the President at the time.
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
That we are even having this conversation in the light of Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional actions is frightening. Regardless of the fact that Barack Obama is plummeting in every poll available, his sycophants clearly have no intention of letting go of the reigns of power if they can find any way not to, even if the way completely and totally violates the United States Constitution. Both Adolph Hitler and Hugo Chavez stacked their nations Parliaments with sycophants and faithful supporters who then amended their Constitutions to give both dictators complete dictatorial authority over their nations, and like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid passing Obamacare, they did this against the will to the vast majority of their fellow countrymen.
Considering how Obamacare was passed, how can any American Citizen possibly believe that the Democrat Party would not willingly and joyfully follow in the footsteps of the German and Venezuelan politicians who set Hitler and Chavez up as dictators? Harry Reid already set the stage for just such a naked, illegal and unconstitutional power grab by the Democrat Party.
Senate Democrats took the dramatic step Thursday of eliminating filibusters for most nominations by presidents, a power play they said was necessary to fix a broken system but one that Republicans said will only rupture it further.
Democrats used a rare parliamentary move to change the rules so that federal judicial nominees and executive-office appointments can advance to confirmation votes by a simple majority of senators, rather than the 60-vote supermajority that has been the standard for nearly four decades.
The immediate rationale for the move was to allow the confirmation of three picks by President Obama to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — the most recent examples of what Democrats have long considered unreasonably partisan obstruction by Republicans.
In the long term, the rule change represents a substantial power shift in a chamber that for more than two centuries has prided itself on affording more rights to the minority party than any other legislative body in the world. Now, a president whose party holds the majority in the Senate is virtually assured of having his nominees approved, with far less opportunity for political obstruction.
The main combatants Thursday were the chamber’s two chiefs, Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who have clashed for several years over Republican filibusters of Obama’s agenda and nominees.
Reid said the chamber “must evolve” beyond parliamentary roadblocks. “The American people believe the Senate is broken, and I believe the American people are right,” he said, adding: “It’s time to get the Senate working again.”
“Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely” Harry Reid has obviously been in power far far to long. The Founding Father’s placed those road blocks in place on purpose, not on accident or by mistake. Passing legislation in both the House and the Senate was intended to be a difficult process, much like pulling cactus needles out of your own butt unaided, it was suppose to be a long, drawn-out, and excruciatingly painful process. The whole point behind it being so, was to prevent the House and the Senate from legislating the United States of America to death.