February 13, 2014

"When President Obama told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in March 2012 that 'after my election I have more flexibility'..."

"...most assumed he was referring to foreign policy. It turns out Mr. Obama's ambitions weren't so limited."

IN THE COMMENTS: retail lawyer writes:
Question for Ann: How are law schools explaining this new flexibility, promulgation, the Take Care clause, etc.? How do you think they'll be teaching it in the future? Sometimes I wish I still were in law school.
And I said:
I'd quote Justice Jackson in the Steel Seizure Case:
I cannot be brought to believe that this country will suffer if the Court refuses further to aggrandize the presidential office, already so potent and so relatively immune from judicial review, at the expense of Congress.

But I have no illusion that any decision by this Court can keep power in the hands of Congress if it is not wise and timely in meeting its problems. A crisis that challenges the President equally, or perhaps primarily, challenges Congress. If not good law, there was worldly wisdom in the maxim attributed to Napoleon that "The tools belong to the man who can use them." We may say that power to legislate for emergencies belongs in the hands of Congress, but only Congress itself can prevent power from slipping through its fingers.
"The tools belong to the man who can use them."

It's a great line.

But sometimes you've just got tools lying around, and no one can use them too well, and some men and women try to use them to halfway build something and then they leave it leaking and creaking for some other man to whip into shape with those tools, which he's not too good at using, but he keeps tinkering away, ineptly, and everyone watches and bitches about it, and you've just got some huge hulking crappy thing that's never going to work right, but so much damned effort was put into building the thing that we just go ahead and use it anyway.

102 comments:

J Lee said...

Bill Clinton after the 1994 midterms eventually adjusted to the new reality of having to work with a Republican-controlled Congress. Obama never has, and apparently was sold on running for president based on the idea he would simply rule by edict, and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would then execute whatever pet program he desired. Not a very good understanding of how the executive and legislative branches of government are supposed to work by the Constitutional scholar.

danoso said...

Yep. How many divisions does the Speaker of the House have?

retail lawyer said...

Question for Ann: How are law schools explaining this new flexibility, promulgation, the Take Care clause, etc.? How do you think they'll be teaching it in the future?
Sometimes I wish I still were in law school.

Rusty said...

And this surprises, who?

Ann Althouse said...

"Question for Ann: How are law schools explaining this new flexibility, promulgation, the Take Care clause, etc.?"

I'd quote Justice Jackson in the Steel Seizure Case:

"I cannot be brought to believe that this country will suffer if the Court refuses further to aggrandize the presidential office, already so potent and so relatively immune from judicial review, at the expense of Congress.

"But I have no illusion that any decision by this Court can keep power in the hands of Congress if it is not wise and timely in meeting its problems. A crisis that challenges the President equally, or perhaps primarily, challenges Congress. If not good law, there was worldly wisdom in the maxim attributed to Napoleon that "The tools belong to the man who can use them." We may say that power to legislate for emergencies belongs in the hands of Congress, but only Congress itself can prevent power from slipping through its fingers."

Ann Althouse said...

"The tools belong to the man who can use them."

It's a great line.

But sometimes you've just got tools lying around, and no one can use them too well, and some men and women try to use them to halfway build something and then they leave it leaking and creaking for some other man to whip into shape with those tools, which he's not too good at using, but he keeps tinkering away, ineptly, and everyone watches and bitches about it, and you've just got some huge hulking crappy thing that's never going to work right, but so much damned effort was put into building the thing that we just go ahead and use it anyway.

CWJ said...

"Après moi le déluge."

Rove beat me to it.

What is doubly pathetic is that it is taking everything the Obama has, just to keep the collapse at bay until he's gone.


The Drill SGT said...

Ann Althouse said...
"The tools belong to the man who can use them."


The problem with that analogy is that the decision by Congress NOT to do something that the President desires is equally expected and protected by the Constitution.

CWJ said...

Althouse,

Homo Faber.

That's why I was actually excited to vote for Romney and so very demoralized when he lost.

traditionalguy said...

Monarch Obama could not rule over us without a Congress that refuses to impeach the arrogant man that rules lawlessly.

betamax3000 said...

More Steps in the Post-Law Society.

Post-Law Society: Without Consistency of Application There is No Law, Only Selective Persecution.

paminwi said...

As a non-lawyer I see the only way out is impeachement. There will be no lawsuits because some stupid ass jusge somewhere will say the plaintiff has no standing. That is something you hear more and more these days. So, if no citizen has standing, then the only way for anything to stop is impeachment.

Mike Lee has some comments on this and I found his explanation fairly easy to understand from someone who is not learned in legalese.

Pogo is Dead said...

Our only tool is refusing to play.

The government is now illegitimate. Until they force me to vote, I won't vote. There's no point. Both parties are complicit in the corruption and relentless leviathanizing of the State.

Ryan and Christie want to give illegal aliens amnesty just as much as Obama. There is little difference between them and Hillary.

The only two people standing in their way are Cruz and Paul.

Everyone else is a collaborator in pretending to offer us a choice, when they are just two sides of the same evil coin.




john marzan said...

that's not all, karl.

the reason why obamacare delayed the employer mandates again was because amnesty failed this year.

if immigration reform passed in 2014 with the help of GOP, businesses will be able to hire legalized illegals to bypass obamcare tax.

since the employer mandate is delayed till 2016, they can continue hiring citizens without increases in cost.

Ann Althouse said...

"Our only tool is refusing to play."

You're not allowed not to play. Individual mandate.

But it's not a mandate. It's just a tax.

So pay your taxes and you can do what you want.

Ann Althouse said...

Either Congress acts or it doesn't.

Your power is to vote for members of Congress.

The members of the current Congress and the Congress that wrote the ACA are/were all people we elected.

Ann Althouse said...

Just some more "worldly wisdom."

mtrobertsattorney said...

"The tools belong to the man who can use them."

And in the meantime, the Department of Homeland Security is about to purchase more than 140,000 rounds of long-range sniper ammunition.

J Lee said...

A large part of the problem here is also that, unlike the 1995-2000 period under Bill Clinton, Congress does not speak with a unified voice -- if anything, you have a Senate Majority Leader condoning Obama's efforts to bypass the legislative body via executive orders.

Clinton still had a cantankerous relationship with Congress, thanks in large part to his own hormones and dubious testimony under oath. But he was contained in any desire to unilaterally ignoring Congress because he knew the House and Senate would push back together, and as a result, legislation did get done, even if neither side was all that happy with the final product.

Obama in contrast, is using the divided Congress to assert executive power that doesn't exist in the Constitution, because he knows Harry Reid's got his back on blocking any unified challenge to his questionable edicts. If Reid finds himself as the Minority Leader in 2015, odds are Congress will be more assertive on the president tinkering with tools that don't belong to him.

Hagar said...

"A republic, madam - if you can keep it!"

betamax3000 said...

Compelled to Note that "Steel Seizure Case" Sounds Like a Heavy Metal Band.

Pogo is Dead said...

"Your power is to vote for members of Congress."

They've all been nursed on the righteousness of FDR socialism from grade school through the universities.

Voting just moves the chairs around. The results are the same.

Will said...

Put main the camp that Inaction is a 100% valid and Constitutional outcome.

It's not written that we always have to be acting and producing "Legislation"

If you have a complete idiot as Executive and a gridlock between branches, then the Founders were A-OK with checks and balances that stymied all Negative "Progress" until saner people and greater consensus appeared.

So Obama grabbing the tools and hitting America's thumb with the hammer just doesn't work. If Obama keeps it up, at some point he will get a restraining order called impeachment and he will have richly earned it

retail lawyer said...

Ann, so law schools teach all the fine points of Constitutional jurisprudence, but then point out that they are really just for the more placid times of "then", but now is a time of fierce urgency, and the tools belong to the man who can use them? I'm sure you are correct, its just taking me awhile to adjust and get with the program.
Ironically, Obama has always impressed me as a man who does not know his way around tools. He does not know when something is shovel ready - he does not even know which end of a hammer to hold. He does not know how to build a coalition, persuade the reluctant, compromise. Instead, when the times are fiercely urgent, he goes to a fund raiser or gives a speech at some high school.

Tank said...

@will

You can't impeach a black president.

Are we doomed? Yes, we are.

Ann Althouse said...

"A republic, madam - if you can keep it!"

A fine pairing with the attributed-to-Napoleon quote.

The attributed-to-Franklin quote comes at the same problem from the other end and essentially makes the same point, no?

Ann Althouse said...

"The problem with that analogy is that the decision by Congress NOT to do something that the President desires is equally expected and protected by the Constitution."

But who will enforce this Constitution? It doesn't enforce itself.

Jackson was saying it's almost entirely up to Congress.

damikesc said...

Odd, if one looks at ALL of the audits of 501C4 groups, every single one targeted a conservative group. In addition to the harassment of them in the attempt to get C4 approval.

In a scandal without even a smidgeon of corruption, per Obama.

John Lynch said...

This is rule by Presidential edict.

That's what it is. If this wasn't the USA but some other country we'd be able to see it immediately for what it is.

The excuse for edicts is always that the legislature is incapable of doing its job. Put in this light, all the rhetoric about the Republicans in Congress makes a lot more sense. It's an excuse for the President to have more power.

I actually think the House is doing the best it can to preserve the power of Congress, but the Senate has become prostrate before the executive branch. It's pathetic. I know that's because of the current party balance, but it's still true.

The precedent of presidential edicts is going to haunt us for a very long time, long after Obama leaves office. We're going to pay dearly for it.

Ann Althouse said...

Look at the constitutional checks on the President.

It's possible that there could be lawsuits.

Explain to me how. Who is in a position to sue? Where is the real case that can force the question?

Otherwise it's up to us to criticize the President to the extent we see fit and to push Congress to act and it's up to Congress to use the devices it has: It could amend the law if it doesn't like what the President is doing. It could impeach the President, which obviously isn't going to happen (and which is a horrible idea).

Jay said...

"The tools belong to the man who can use them."

It's a great line.


You didn't build that!

The Godfather said...

To the best of my knowledge, Obama has not asked Congress to amend the ACA to delay the mandates -- indeed, when the House passed legislation to do so, Obama directed Reid to prevent the Senate from considering it and threatened to veto it were it somehow to pass. So this is not a situation in which "gridlock" forces the President to act unilaterally (although I do agree with others that our Constitution is designed to create gridlock under some circumstances). Thus it is Obama who seems unable to use the "tool" of compromise and bipartisanship.

This makes it of paramount importance that the Republicans win the elections this year, to maintain control of the House and take control of the Senate. Anything that impedes the accomplishment of that goal should be rejected. That's why I support the "clean" debt ceiling rise, why I oppose primary challenges to incumbent Republicans this year except under the most extreme circumstances, and why I think talk of impeachment is counterproductive.

Jay said...

It could amend the law if it doesn't like what the President is doing

When the President doesn't follow the law, a law, mind you that he championed and signed, what good would it do to "amend the law"?

John Lynch said...

Here's my question for Althouse: if party discipline overrides the institutional checks in the Constitution, what are the options for preventing the expansion of executive power?

The electorate isn't going to split their Presidential vote and their Congressional vote reliably enough to prevent partisans in Congress from ceding power to the President. That's not what happens historically during a President's first term, when most of his agenda is written and passed. The behavior of the Senate and House in 2009 shows how bad this can get. I don't think the next unified Republican government will be any different.

Elections aren't going to solve this problem reliably enough to prevent power from flowing to the executive. What are we going to do?

Bob Ellison said...

Your building metaphor has me laughing out loud, Professor.

Hanlon's Razor suggests that the men and women with the tools and the appropriate use thereof are simply too ignorant or too stupid to figure it all out.

In most private companies, a clustermuck like ObamaCare would tend to fester until a CEO killed the whole project, king-like. People of several political stripes yearn for a wise and benevolent dictator. That yearning is part of how Obama got re-elected.

SGT Ted said...

The people we have handling the tools are not competent, or actually authorized, to use them.


Since the Citizen is sovereign, feel free to disregard the illegal decrees coming from the WH.

Question for Ann: Is there a concept in civilian law that is similar to military law where blatantly illegal orders can be disregarded and must be disobeyed?

SGT Ted said...

The ultimate check on an out of control President is outlined in the 2nd Amendment. Funny how no one wants to talk about that.

But I am not a violent person by nature. My duty, still required by the Oath I took and was never released from, is to disobey illegal orders to the best of my ability.

SGT Ted said...

I was taught that it doesn't matter what the rank of the person was if the order is illegal. You still have a duty to disobey it.

betamax3000 said...

Betamax3000 for President. I Assure You, You Will Only Have to Vote Once.

SGT Ted said...

Like the FCC wanting to come in to investigate and supervise the content of broadcast stations.

That's an illegal order.

Ann Althouse said...

"When the President doesn't follow the law, a law, mind you that he championed and signed, what good would it do to "amend the law"?"

It's a dialogue. If the President, tasked with implementing the law, is taking liberties with it, adapting it as he goes along, more or less with the position that Congress intended that, an amendment that makes it explicit that Congress specifically rejects something would probably cause the President to follow the newly explicit specifics.

Nothing makes that necessarily what happens, but Congress's inaction facilitates and seems to endorse the President's action.

And what do you think he is supposed to do when he has been given a big poorly designed law and told to execute it?

SGT Ted said...

And what do you think he is supposed to do when he has been given a big poorly designed law and told to execute it?

Obama could have refused to sign the bill into law when it came to him, if it was all fucked up and FUBAR. It's not like Presidents are absent from the law making process.

So, either your statement is a generic one, or an excuse for illegal executive orders coming from Obama.

Jay said...

Ann Althouse said...
And what do you think he is supposed to do when he has been given a big poorly designed law and told to execute it?


You're joking right?

The President asked for this!

The President thought this was fantastic.

The President told America this will lower premiums, and make more people have insurance.

At no point prior to October 2013, did the President ever express concerns about complexity.

Why would you ask such a frankly dumb question pretending he is some sort of bystander in all of this?

madAsHell said...

The fools belong to the man who can use them.

John Lynch said...

Althouse, what happens when the President's own party in Congress refuses to allow amendments, even to make the law more clear and easier to implement? What if they do this at the President's direction? Congress isn't acting because the are unable to do so, but because the Senate leadership has chosen not to do so.

What's happening is that the President has created a problem only he can solve. There's no dialogue here. It's simply a seizure of power by the executive with the connivance of the Senate leadership.

Institutionally, party loyalty is overriding institutional loyalty to the Senate and Congress. This has been less of a problem historically for the United States because we elect Congressmen and Senators directly rather than by party lists, but it still seems to be a major threat to our balance of powers.

SGT Ted said...

Plus, Obama isn't delaying portions of the law that are bad so that Congress can have time to fix it.

He is just breaking the law for the convenience of his Political Party to avoid the actual impact of the written law in order for his Party to avoid being held accountable by pissed off voters. He isn't interested in fixing it one bit.

Jay said...

And what do you think he is supposed to do when he has been given a big poorly designed law and told to execute it?

You would think a big constitutional legal eagle, and brilliant thinker like Obama would recognize how complex this all was and tell Congress to try again.

Oh, and as a point of fact, the Administration was involved in writing the legislation. They have people doing this all the time.

SGT Ted said...

Just because another set of officers refuse to stop an illegal order doesn't make the order legal.

Tank said...

Broke, corrupt, dictator.

Banana republic.

The Drill SGT said...

And what do you think he is supposed to do when he has been given a big poorly designed law and told to execute it?

He repeatedly barnstormed the country demanding that Congress send him ACA, (in that form, since it was the only thing that the Dims could pass)

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Boyd said...

To paraphrase Golda Meir, the Constitution will be upheld when Democrats love the rule of law more than they hate Republicans.

gerry said...

If the President, tasked with implementing the law, is taking liberties with it, adapting it as he goes along, more or less with the position that Congress intended that, an amendment that makes it explicit that Congress specifically rejects something would probably cause the President to follow the newly explicit specifics.

Are you drinking? I get it, that you are in discussion mode, but that sentence is so bad that it even includes "explicit specifics", as if specifics could be inexplicit.

Discussion may be a polite exercise, but the context is not. The context is our imperiled liberties, with men and women of evil intent desiring to enslave the majority of the nation in perpetual poverty and despair. I hope history will be otherwise, but I cannot help but feel that the nation is finished.

William said...

"An army travels on its stomach." More precisely Napoleon's army travelledon the stomachs of French, Spanish, and Russian peasants......The screws belong to the man who owns a screwdriver.

Larry J said...

Ann Althouse said...
"The tools belong to the man who can use them."


My father was a skilled professional carpender. In his hands, a hammer was a tool used to help build houses, churches, schools and businesses. In the hands of a thug, a hammer a hammer is a tool for destruction and murder.

The Bush administration and Congress created many tools for intelligence gathering following the 9/11 attacks. Had he wielded them for political purposes, it's unlikely Obama would've ever been elected senator, yet alone president. Obama, on the other hand, shows no hesitation in using the tools of government power for blatant political purposes. He has weaponized the IRS (100% of 401(c)4 organizations that were audited by the IRS were conservative ones). I have little faith that the people who work at the NSA are any better than those at the IRS. Throw in the EPA and DoJ abuses and you have a government not of laws but one of evil men and women.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Try as I might, I can't see anything non-explicit or non-specific about "The amendments made by this section
shall apply to months beginning after December 31, 2013."

MaxedOutMama said...

Ann, I just don't think that Youngstown matches this case, nor that Jackson's words are appropriate here.

In that case, it was an executive order to meet a presidentially-perceived emergency. Truman issued the order and then officially notified Congress twice of what he believed to be a crisis. Congress did nothing.

In this case, the remedy (passing a law) that Jackson referred to was done by Congress in 2010 when PPACA was passed . Any president is free to believe that Congress has passed a bad law, or that portions of a good law are bad, but that belief does not operate under the Constitution to invoke a special presidential power to revoke the law by presidential decree or by failure to execute.

This particular provision of the law was unambiguous and not included in the areas for which Congress delegated the power of interpretation.

The Executive has been slapped down in case after case when regulatory authorities have done this (it isn't rare). The Executive has been slapped down in a number of RECENT cases for doing this. This is not some sensational thing - it's just that almost always these measures are boring behind the scenes things.

I truly think you are way, way off on this one. It does not diminish my admiration, because after all, you actually correct all your own student papers and exams, so you do not have tons of time to spare for items like this. I bet you haven't even read PPACA.

Jack Wayne said...

In this post we see the inner controller come out in Ann. She's a lefty and she likes big government. A cowardly Justice who refuses to protect the 9th and 10th amendments seems to garner her approval. "Have pen, will Rule". Great motto for a monarchy, a dictatorship, a plutocracy, aristocracy, tyranny of the majority, and all the cracies. But not so much for a limited government.

Hagar said...

And what do you think he is supposed to do when he has been given a big poorly designed law and told to execute it?

Come on, Professor. He caused this. He was not "given" or "told" anything. It is his doing.

Drago said...

Ann Althouse: "...an amendment that makes it explicit that Congress specifically rejects something would probably cause the President to follow the newly explicit specifics."

LOL

Sure.

Pull the other one.

RecChief said...

"the Department of Homeland Security is about to purchase more than 140,000 rounds of long-range sniper ammunition."

Oh for fuck's sake, They're buying .308 winchester rounds. 165 grain. the .308 is really not a long-range round anymore. There are several others in the government arsenal that have longer range. The .50 BMG for instance.

Here is a link to Bob Owens that explains it in depth. There are several factual errors, one I even missed myself, in that InfoWars piece.

http://bearingarms.com/manufacturing-fear-of-dhs-snipers/

CWJ said...

Althouse,

I think the purpose of your 9:40 comment was pedagogic. And in that vein, I think the subsequent mocking, while understandable, missed the point.

But also in that vein, I think Paul Zrimseck's 11:19 layman's comment and MaxedOutMama's 11:34 presumed professional comment are right on target. If your intent was to up the game then you succeeded.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Well, there is remains an equal protection argument. Imagine a group of individuals bringing suit claiming that certain groups favored by Obama are receiving special benefits from the executive branch, i.e., exemptions from Obamacare mandates, and they, who are similarly situated are not. They further claim that Obama's selective exemptions are not rationally related to a legitimate purpose because these individuals are similarly situated, or because Obama lacked the power order them in the first place.

They they request an order finding the Obama exemptions unconstitutional unless Obama administrators also exempt these individuals from the mandates that affect them, or unless Congress amends the law to allow exemptions from Obamacare mandates.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

And what do you think he is supposed to do when he has been given a big poorly designed law and told to execute it?

Wow, what a pathetic response. Althouse, is this really the best you can do?

PB Reader said...

Obama's got a hammer and sickle and everything must look like a nail or wheat, because this guy is pounding and cutting at the constitution with abandon.

PB Reader said...

this is how ruthless dictators arise - because the legislature let them. If they have firm grip on the military/police and all government organs, the people are fairly powerless unless they can rise up in armed revolt. This latter is the sole reason why people with totalitarian or authoritarian desires move to take the guns away from civilians.

Unless democrats wake up and show some respect for the law, the constitution, or the founding principles of this nation, there will be armed insurrection and perhaps even organized revolt. It is clear, the current folks in power are conditioning and equipping the military and police to view the political opposition and even the general populace as the enemy to be dealt with harshly at every turn.

Will said...

See this is why Obama is one of our very very worst Presidents.

He could have been one of the best. Had he taken some input on the Stimulus and on Healthcare and gotten (more than a sliver of) Republican votes then he would not be in this mess and his Presidency would not have failed.

Instead it was a thumb in the eye, it was "I won", it was snide non-diplomatic remarks to the faces of Paul Ryan and the Sumpreme Court at SOTU. Instead it was a billion dollar smear ca,pain to get re-elected.

The result was zero bipartisan votes, zero shared common cause and a "you broke it you own it" from half the Country. We have never had a President fail so completely and thoroughly.

Nobody expects perfection in any Executive or any human. But when the person is thoroughly thinskinned and dislikeable the person won't be cut any slack either. This is now where Obama finds himself - on the 40% floor of popularity provided by the unthinking partisan boosters.

Yes, we most certainly can impeach a black President. His color has nothing to do with it. It's the zero content in his character.

I agree his opposition must oppose him more strongly on Principle. Silence can be misinterpreted as Consent.

Having thrown my Congresswomen out on her ass in 2010 I can tell you it's a wonderful feeling. I highly encourage you all to try it this Fall.

PB Reader said...

I hold little hope of Democrats coming to their senses, because, in a sense, they have. They want control. They want no opposition. It is not just the political elite that speak like this, but they have built an apparatus to condition people throughout society to speak like this.

There will be interesting times.

PB Reader said...

I wouldn't be surprise if there was an attempt to declare an emergency of some sort and postpone the 2016 elections.

SGT Ted said...

The law isn't a mechanical problem to be solved using tools.

Our inherent individual rights to be free from government tyranny are NOT machines and systems needing "fixing" by a wanna-be dictator using illegal orders as a "tool" to further violate our rights and to bypass the law making authority of Congress.

That no ordinary citizen seems to "have standing" to challenge a dictator in our courts over a sweeping Federal Law shows the depth of the corruption and that we no longer have a representative government, but a pack of dictators accountable to no one, really.

Will said...

"Drink deeply from this bipartisan well I just spent 5 years pissing in"

It doesn't work.

And the fault is 100% Obama's. He can't use gridlock as an excuse to act unilaterally. His own incompetence caused the gridlock.

SGT Ted said...

The idea that elected Representatives, or Government Agencies can only be held accountable for violating peoples Civil Rights by voting them out of office is perverse.

It is what people mean when they talk about our Government having devolved into yet another aristocratic Old World style Ruling Class that is accountable to God alone.

It invites a violent, revolutionary outcome from the people whose rights are being violated, as they have no other legal recourse.

No Accountability equals Unjust Government.

John said...

Althouse said...:Otherwise it's up to us to criticize the President to the extent we see fit and to push Congress to act and it's up to Congress to use the devices it has: It could amend the law if it doesn't like what the President is doing. It could impeach the President, which obviously isn't going to happen (and which is a horrible idea)."

What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?

gerry said...

The decline continues.

Lydia said...

Thing is, though, the changes Obama's making to ACA do help fix some of its bad effects. And stopping those fixes would make the Republicans look bad, right?

A political dilemma.

RecChief said...

SGT Ted said...
The idea that elected Representatives, or Government Agencies can only be held accountable for violating peoples Civil Rights by voting them out of office is perverse.


I think you and I think alike

Hagar said...

But the changes so far are not for "fixing the bad effects," but merely to delay them past the next election, as far as I can see.
And there will always be a next election, so what is the Democrats' end game here?

RecChief said...

Why is it a bad idea to impeach a president who ignores laws or usurps Congressional duties, whether Congress allows the President to do so or not? Doesn't the President take an oath to faithfully execute the laws of this country? By taking the aforementioned actions, isn't the President abrogating his duty? And who is that duty to? it is to the country, and ultimately to the people who are citizens here. If that doesn't fit the definition of Treason, let alone High Crimes and Misdemeanors, what does. Please explain why this is a bad idea, other than the shopworn, "it creates a constitutional crisis!" The crisis has already been inflicted upon this country, by the person taking the action.

J Lee said...

PB Reader said...

I wouldn't be surprise if there was an attempt to declare an emergency of some sort and postpone the 2016 elections.

2/13/14, 12:49 PM


Non-starter because that would split the Democratic Party. Remember, you've got a Hillary Clinton who'll turn 70-years-old in 2017 waiting in the wings. Were Obama and his team to postpone the elections, with the Clintonites currently thinking 2016 will be theirs in a walkover, you'd see a major revolt not just by the GOP, but by Bill & Hill's backers that would have to be put down. That's just not happening.

Browndog said...

"The tools belong to the man who can use them."

It's a great line.


_________________

When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.
- Frédéric Bastiat

...a better line.

Shouting Thomas said...

The election of Hillary only continues and exacerbates the problem.

It's racist to criticize or restrain the power of a black president.

It will be sexist to criticize or restrain the power of a female president.

What a device for nullifying constitution restraint on the Presidency.

Underlying it all is the "bigot" campaign of the past several decades. Anything is justified for the purpose of defeating the bigots and excluding them from the political process.

khesanh0802 said...

@ mtrobertsattorney 12:20

I am not an attorney, but the equal protection argument seems to be the only way to achieve standing - if that seems to be the blockage. Why can't I argue that I have been injured by the application of the law (higher premiums, fewer doctors, higher co-pays) when others to whom the law is supposed to applied are arbitrarily given a pass?

I am convinced that more people are aware of the wrongness of "executive" action than we understand (ever hopeful, I guess). How do you argue for equal treatment in the pay field - which is essentially none of your business - when you are practicing unequal treatment under a law that you signed and carries your name?

The poll numbers are getting worse slowly. I think the Republicans have been wise to avoid changing the subject to the debt limit. March 31 and reality are on their way.

Michael said...

The affordable Care Act. Two men are sharing an outdoor, two-holer outhouse. When one finishes his business he stands up and as he does some change falls down into the latrine. He calmly buckles up his overalls, reaches in his pocket and pulls out a hundred dollar bill. He tosses it in the hole

Why did you do that!? His friend asks

You dont think I am going to go down there for thirty cents do you?

Shouting Thomas said...

Althouse is a participant in the vast exercise in this abuse of power.

She's a prosecutor of the perpetual civil rights crisis that justifies Obama's behavior.

She's part of the problem.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger SGT Ted said...

The ultimate check on an out of control President is outlined in the 2nd Amendment. Funny how no one wants to talk about that.

But I am not a violent person by nature. My duty, still required by the Oath I took and was never released from, is to disobey illegal orders to the best of my ability.

2/13/14, 9:26

Interesting. I never thought about it that way. but, you're right I was discharged but never released from the oath I took.

Humperdink said...

RecChief said: "They're buying .308 winchester rounds. 165 grain. the .308 is really not a long-range round anymore."

http://www.gunsandammo.com/2013/09/10/ga-perspectives-does-the-308-fit-the-long-range-hunting-bill/

"Like most successful cartridges, the .308 is absolutely effective within its intended parameters. I’ve hunted extensively with the .308. In fact, I’ve taken 10 different game animals with it so far this year. Inside 250 yards, it is fantastic on deer, hogs, black bear and antelope, and is adequate for elk."

I guess it depends on the definition of long range.

n.n said...

He offered a preemptive warning of undeclared military conflicts. Unfortunately, Americans voted for condoms, and the world is the target of the Nobel Peace laureate's narcissistic displeasure. Libya, Syria, etc. will not be the same. Although, the Russians seem to have effectively blocked his progress in Syria.

Anthony said...

"Bill Clinton after the 1994 midterms eventually adjusted to the new reality of having to work with a Republican-controlled Congress. Obama never has, "

I think the big differences between Obama and Clinton is that at heart Clinton was a Moderate Republican, while Obama is in my mind not a socialist or a Marxist, but without a true ideology other than a vague leftism of the faculty lounge. SO he cannot govern like Clinton did. Clinton also was a governor and so he was used to getting results and being judged by those results. Obama never really had to do anything or get any concrete results in anything he did since law school.

Rusty said...


" When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.
- Frédéric Bastiat "

And I'm rapidly losing respect for the law.

damikesc said...

I have zero respect for the law.

People I know who cheat on their taxes? No longer a big problem. I applaud them for doing so.

Connie said...

Never thought I would miss Robert Byrd.

Connie said...

Never thought I would miss Robert Byrd.

Roger Zimmerman said...

To the Lawyers here, does this scenario work to give my company standing on equal protection grounds?:

- We have 15 employees, and are based in Massachusetts.
- Thanks to Romneycare, we are required to provide health insurance to our employees (10 or more).
- We compete against larger companies in other states that have not been so required, up until the passage of the ACA.
- With the passage, we expected that our competitors would need to absorb these costs, starting in 2014. and therefore adjusted our planning to account for this. In particular we began to bid against these out of state competitors at prices we believed would be difficult for them to beat with their new cost structure, but which were still high enough for us to justify the bid.
- The delays have therefore upset our plans, and resulted in tangible losses to us - we have lost some of these bids, having spent substantial time and effort on them. We would not have spent this time and effort had we not expected ACA to take effect.

Well, does it fly?

EMD said...

Justice Jackson sounds like a bad comic book character. Like, 1983-ish DC.

eric said...

There is only one way to put a halt on the power of the Presidency.

Elect a Republican.

If you have a Democrat President, the Democrats and the Media (But I repeat myself) will look the other way.

If you have a Republican President, the Republicans, the Democrats and the Media will call him out on it.

somefeller said...

There's a lot of gloomy gusses here, together with the predictable vague fantasy comments about violent uprising (hai Sgt. Ted!). As they say, it is to laugh.

And one certainly never saw this sort of hand-wringing about executive power when Reagan or Bush were in the White House, and one won't see it when the next GOP president takes office. Once again, it is to laugh.

RecChief said...

Humperdink said...

"I guess it depends on the definition of long range."

250 meters isn't long range.

And a 140,000 rounds, when split amongst agencies, as often happens with Fed contracts, isn't that much. My point was that the story was InfoWars click bait.

RecChief said...

Actually, many of us were against the Executive over reach of the Bush Administration. Hold on to the fiction that people like me didn't care when Bush did it if you must. I only see a case of psychological projection.

Hyphenated American said...

What if the armed forces, who swore an oath to protect constitution from enemies foreign and domestic, discover they too have tools to use? Who is going to stop them?

Gahrie said...

And what do you think he is supposed to do when he has been given a big poorly designed law and told to execute it?

Veto it.

Rusty said...

Just had to include this one.

" Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? "

TM

Drago said...

somefeller represents perfectly what Jonathan Turley was talking about.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/02/12/turley_on_expansion_of_presidential_powers_we_have_become_a_nation_of_enablers.html

Turley: "I'm afraid this is beginning to border on a cult of personality for people on the left."

His only mistake is to think that this is only "beginning". The left and cults of personality go hand in glove.

Always have.

Always will.

They love them some Stalin/Mao/Fidel/Che/Hugo/Daniel, etc.

obama, he really is "sort of a God", isn't he somefeller?