Amnesty by decree

President Obama has issued an executive order protecting some 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation.

On what authority, you may ask?  He is invoking the principle of “prosecutor discretion,” under which a law enforcement officer may choose, for example, which speeders to chase down.  So here the Executive Branch, charged with carrying out the laws passed by the Legislative Branch, is just choosing not to enforce the law against illegal immigrants unless they have committed other crimes.  (But in forbidding immigration officials from enforcing the law, isn’t he taking away their “prosecutor discretion”?) [Read more...]

Immigration amnesty by executive order

President Obama, having been unable to get his way in Congress and now faced with a Republican majority in both houses, is reportedly preparing to impose immigration reform by executive fiat. granting amnesty to millions of people who are here illegally. [Read more...]

Our latest war is now illegal

The War Powers Act allows presidents to launch hostilities at their discretion, but they must receive the concurrence of Congress (to which the Constitution gives the authority to declare war) within 60 days.  If that doesn’t happen, the president has 30 additional days to end the hostilities.   The clock ran out on our war against ISIL on November 6.

President Obama is invoking the authority previously granted to fight the War in Iraq, but legal authorities question its applicability, since that war has been declared over and much of the fighting against ISIL is taking place in Syria.  But he could certainly make a good case for fighting those monstrous terrorists.  So why doesn’t he?

I suspect that neither the lame duck Congress with the Democratic Senate or the incoming Republican legislative branch wants anything to do with this issue.  This leaves the President to, once again, rule by decree. [Read more...]

Congress approves war with ISIL with little debate

Congress signed off on President Obama’s plan for an air war against the Islamic State, both in Iraq and in Syria.  The war authorization was attached to a budget bill, and it passed both the House and the Senate on a bi-partisan vote with virtually no debate.

The last two times we entered a war in Iraq, Congress held extensive hearings and debates.  But not this time. [Read more...]

Religious liberty for atheists, too

Enlisting or re-enlisting in a military service requires taking an oath, ending in the words “so help me God.”  An atheist airman trying to re-enlist in the Air Force has crossed out those words in the paperwork he is supposed to sign.  So the Air Force is not letting him re-enlist.

Lawsuits are in the works.  But does it make sense to require a person to swear in the name of a deity he does not believe in?  And doesn’t requiring a religious oath for military service constitute a “religious test” for public office, which the Constitution does not allow?  More to the point, in a time when the religious liberty of Christians is threatened more and more, don’t Christians need to support the religious liberty of everyone, including atheists? [Read more...]

Supremes reject Obama’s “recess” appointments

The Constitution’s balance of powers is re-asserting itself.  President Obama had been appointing officials that need Senate approval by doing so during holidays when Senators were out of town.  Since the Constitution allows for temporary appointments when the Senate is in recess (back when the Senate was a part time body with long periods between sessions), the President claimed these short holiday breaks constituted a “recess,” even though the Senate was still in session.

The Supreme Court has ruled–unanimously!–that these appointments  are illegal.  The Judicial branch is reining in the Executive Branch in its attempts to exert its power at the expense of the Legislative branch.  The Constitution still works. [Read more...]


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