Michael Barone

It's a policy that tests well in the polls. The problem is that Congress, even when controlled by Democrats, refused to relax immigration policy in this way.

You won't hear much about this on the campaign trail. Mitt Romney says he won't reverse it, since it seems harsh to penalize people who came forward in response to a president's stated policy.

Similarly, he's not in favor of reversing the policy allowing open gays to serve in the military.

There's one difference between the two situations. Congress actually passed a law (repealing one signed by Clinton) allowing gays to serve. It was one of the last acts of the outgoing Democratic Congress in 2010.

But neither that Congress nor the current one passed a law authorizing mass non-enforcement of immigration laws. Nor did any Congress pass a law suspending the WARN Act when it jeopardizes a president's chance to carry a target state.

Article II of the Constitution (not Article I, as Joe Biden appeared to say in the 2008 vice presidential debate) sets out the duties and powers of the president. Section 3 states that "he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."

It does not give him the power to make laws. That's given to Congress, in Article I.

Barack Obama was a lecturer on constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School. But he seems to take the attitude familiar to me, as an alumnus of Yale Law School, that the law is simply a bunch of words that people who are clever with words can manipulate to get any result they want.

In public speeches, he has defended such policies by shouting, "We can't wait!" The results are good, or at least politically convenient, so why be held back by a few words written on paper?

The Constitution was written by men who had a different idea. They wanted a government bound by the rule of law. Do we?


Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM


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