Brace Yourselves: Obama Planning to Issue "Audacious" Executive Orders This Year

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Jan 13, 2016 2:25 PM
Brace Yourselves: Obama Planning to Issue "Audacious" Executive Orders This Year

In order to solidify his contempt for Congress (and the American people who put lawmakers there), President Obama will reportedly be issuing a number of "audacious" executive orders during his last year in the White House. National Review has the details: 

During a breakfast with reporters in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, McDonough responded to the observation that the president’s final speech before Congress lacked the usual pledge to “go it alone” if lawmakers failed to act. Coupled with the feeble executive actions on gun control announced earlier this month, had President Obama rethought the utility of acting unilaterally on issues important to the White House?

“We’ll do audacious executive action over the course of the rest of the year, I’m confident of that,” said McDonough, explaining that President Obama’s decision not to outline specific executive actions was more about a commitment to process than a lack of willpower.

“Process is your friend, but process also dictates what you can do,” McDonough said. “And we do want to make sure that the executive actions we undertake are not left hanging out there, subject to Congress undoing them.” In addition to gun control, the White House has expressed interest in further unilateral actions on immigration reform, and in working around Congress to close the prison in Guantanamo Bay.

President Obama's unilateral action on a number of issues is nothing new, however it's important to keep in mind that this administration has a "do it now, fight it out in court for years later" attitude. In fact, the number of lawsuits the Obama administration has been forced to fight on the issues of government overreach and executive action are astounding, not to mention the number of cases administration attorneys have lost.

Ilya Somin, a constitutional law professor at George Mason University, said it is striking to take into account the number of times the Obama administration has been on the losing end of unanimous decisions.

“When the administration loses significant cases in unanimous decisions and cannot even hold the votes of its own appointees — Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — it is an indication that they adopted such an extreme position on the scope of federal power that even generally sympathetic judges could not even support it,” said Mr. Somin, adding that presidents from both parties have a tendency to make sweeping claims of federal power. “This is actually something that George W. Bush and Obama have in common.”

This is important because it's clear President Obama is willing to implement his priorities with a strong disregard for constitutionality or legal challenges. This is particularly concerning when it comes to the Second Amendment, an issue President Obama has been unable to move Democrats or Republicans in Congress over the past seven years.

On the campaign trail, many GOP presidential candidates have vowed to overturn Obama's executive orders. We shouldn't rely on those promises.