Robert Knight
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The Constitution of the United States, whose adoption we celebrate every Sept. 17, clearly lists the powers of each branch of the national government.

Let’s take a look at what Barack Obama, like any president, is empowered to do and see if it squares with his actions. In Article II, Section 1, he is sworn to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Section 2 names the president as commander in chief of the armed forces, grants him the power to make treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate and to appoint ambassadors, federal judges, cabinet officials and other federal officers. In Section 3, the president “shall take care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

In his two years and nine months in office, Barack Obama has compiled a spectacular record of non-compliance with the Constitution. Here are just some of the ways his administration has failed to execute the laws while using raw, unauthorized power.

The Defense of Marriage Act – On Feb. 23, 2011, Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. announced that, under Obama’s direction, the Justice Department would no longer defend DOMA, which is under attack in several federal courts. DOMA, which was passed by overwhelming majorities in Congress and signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1996, defines marriage for all federal purposes as the union of a man and a woman, and allows states under the Full Faith and Credit clause not to be forced to recognize unions from other states that do not comport with their state marriage laws. Forty-five states have moved to strengthen their marriage laws, with 30 enacting constitutional amendments. Obama, who has played coy with the marriage issue while aggressively promoting the homosexual agenda, is violating his oath of office to appease the gay lobby.

The 15th Amendment – Under Obama, the Justice Department has effectively become a race-based enforcement unit. After New Black Panther Party members were caught on tape intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place in 2008, the Justice Department declined to defend the convictions, and thus sent the message that baton-wielding thuggishness on Election Day is no big deal. Former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams, who laid out the case before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, described the administration’s dismissal of charges as “lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law.”

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Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.