Last week, the Obama administration announced it will halt deportations of illegal immigrants on a case-by-case basis depending on whether they held certain criteria. Such criteria included attending school, having a family and having primary care responsibility for a family member. Basically, illegal aliens who break into the United States have the same chance of being deported as a tenured New Jersey public school teacher does of being fired.
Many on the right have called the plan ‘back door amnesty,’ while some on the left such as Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) congratulated the President for showing “muscle” on the issue. The details of the executive order are very similar to that of the failed DREAM ACT which did not pass the Democratic controlled senate in 2009. President Obama said to the National Council of La Raza just three weeks ago that he could not round up congress and pass reform on his own because “that’s not how a democracy functions.” Yet less than a month later the President revised his idea of executive power once he saw his poll numbers dropping with Hispanic voters. Members of the left, who today celebrate President Obama’s decisive actions, must tread lightly. If President Obama can ignore immigration laws by executive order, then President Bachmann can ignore or alter abortion laws by the same means.
Going around congressional action to pass legislation is nothing new for President Obama. Several months ago President Obama drafted an executive order to implement parts of Senator Charles Schumer’s (D-NY) Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act (DISCLOSE Act). The DISCLOSE Act was a referendum on the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizen’s United case, which allowed corporations to donate to candidates. When the bill failed in the Senate 59-39, President Obama took it upon himself to push legislation by executive order. The brass use of executive power was so blatant even minority whip Steny Hoyer lambasted the President. Ultimately partly due to internal pressures within the Democratic Party, the executive order has not been signed as of yet.
The most well known use of President Obama overriding his authority was the President’s war with Libya. Although the mission in Libya seems like a runaway success, the war has cost American taxpayers one billion dollars. President Obama must have figured we were rolling in it and heck, what’s a billion between friends? The President’s action to commence bombing over a sovereign nation occurred without consulting Congress. Even when the House of Representatives voted down the authorization 295 to 123, bombing continued. The vote against authorization was as meaningless. Even if the President cited the War Powers act of 1973 as an argument to support military action, the White House must obtain Congressional approval for the use of military force after 60 days of first initiating it with a 30 day extension, the US began bombing Libya in mid-March, well over 120 days ago. The President was met with no recourse, he did not face impeachment hearings, and Congress sat idly by as this President shredded the Constitution. To their credit, ten congressmen including Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Ron Paul (R-TX), John Duncan (R-TN), and Walter Jones (R-NC), who filed a lawsuit against President Obama seeking a Declaratory Judgment that he has violated the War Powers Act by failing to get Congressional approval for the mission in Libya.
Constitution shredding has been a favored past time of many presidents, the cases of abuse listed in this article have been applauded by the left. Whenever, a President exceeds the powers enumerated specifically in the articles of the Constitution there are dire consequences regardless if you agree with policy or party in office at the time. When precedent is set as the new normal and presidents are made kings, there is no returning to the constraints our founders once had in mind. If President Obama can change immigration law and the left cheers, they will have no one else to blame but themselves when President Bachmann bans abortions in a similarly swift unconstitutional action. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” and Americans have been asleep at the wheel. Either we are a nation of laws or we are a nation of men, ethnic lobbies, a military industrial complex and international banking cartel.