We touched on this earlier in the week when the Obama administration was carping about a federal appeals court's ruling upholding an injunction against the president's illegal amnesty fiat -- which he repeatedly said would exceed the boundaries of his own executive authority under the constitution prior to pulling the trigger anyway. Congress has now voted two more times to prohibit the executive branch from closing the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay by relocating its dangerous jihadist combatant population onto United States soil. They've now done so on half a dozen occasions, dating back to 2009, when Democrats held strong legislative majorities. The bipartisan will of Congress is crystal clear, and it matches the public's overwhelming stance on the question:
But this president fairly regularly lays bare his contempt for the legislative branch and the American people, and his administration seems to be looking for was to bypass Congress' verdict. The Wall Street Journal reports that Obama's decision to sign recently-passed defense legislation that ties his hands on Gitmo "makes it more likely" that he'd "bypass Congress to close [the] prison:"
Mr. Obama’s decision not to veto the $607 billion defense bill for a second time makes it more likely that he will decide to go around Congress to fulfill his longstanding pledge to close the prison, setting up an election-year fight with Republicans that could end up in court...“We have long expressed our disappointment at the repeated effort by Congress to impede the closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. The president believes closing that prison is a national security priority,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said...With no other avenue to shutter the prison, Mr. Obama might look to use executive action to close it. Such a step would be certain to trigger a backlash among opponents who believe the president has often stepped beyond the limits of his powers. The White House has been working on options for executive action, including legal justifications. Republicans have challenged Mr. Obama in court on other issues, including immigration and the health law, and could do so again over Guantanamo.
The White House announced last week that "all options remain in play," with the contemptible Susan Rice adding that the administration "would die trying" to close the successful, safe prison. House Speaker Paul Ryan has laid down a marker on this, hinting that the GOP would go to war with Obama if he tries to circumvent the clear letter and spirit of the law (skip ahead to the 23 minute mark):
I'll leave you with the center-left Denver Post editorial board, which supports closing Guantanamo Bay, urging the president to abandon his 'I'm not Bush' optics obsession -- arguing that Congress has acted unambiguously. I'll leave you with this golden oldie, which is darkly humorous in retrospect: