The President and the Rule of Law

During his State of the Union address, President Obama said that because Congress keeps thwarting his agenda, he will advance his positions about immigration, the environment, the economy, gun control, and other of his priorities by issuing executive orders.

He has already been doing that sort of thing.  Conservatives don’t like Obamacare, so they might be glad that the President has changed and delayed its terms.  But by what authority does he just alter a duly-ratified law?  The president is supposed to execute the laws, not create them or change the ones that he doesn’t like. [Read more...]

Federalizing gay marriage

Not long ago, advocates of gay marriage were saying that since marriage laws are set by each state, gay marriage is an issue for individual states to decide.   Some, more socially liberal states, might approve same sex marriage, while socially conservative states wouldn’t have to.  But now the authority of states to set marriage laws and the solution of allowing diverse practices are both being taken away, as courts are ruling that same sex marriage must be legalized everywhere. [Read more...]

Obama will ask Congress before attacking Syria

President Obama has agreed to ask  Congress for authorization before he attacks Syria.  I salute that, since the Constitution requires Congress to approve going to war.  However, I predict that a coalition of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans will vote the proposal down.  What do you think Congress should do?  What do you think Congress will do? [Read more...]

Obama administration defends government-sponsored Christian prayers

The Supreme Court is hearing a case that will decide whether or not it is constitutional for a city council to begin with an explicitly Christian prayer.  Surprisingly to both sides, the Obama administration has filed a brief defending the city council being sued and arguing that the government should not determine the content of someone’s prayer. [Read more...]

Rule of Law vs. Rule by Decree

We have discussed the president’s bad habit of ignoring or even altering laws that he finds inconvenient.  Charles Krauthammer catalogs just how many times and to what extent he and his administration have done this. [Read more...]

When the president does it, it’s not illegal

Those who oppose Obamacare may well be glad that the President keeps delaying the implementation of parts of the law (namely, the employer mandate and the limits on out-of-pocket expenses).  But there is a deeper issue:  The law says that these measures are to go into effect in 2014.  But now the President says, “no they won’t.”  By what authority can the President just change a Constitutionally-enacted law?

George Will says that the President’s increasing habit of by-passing Congress, ignoring laws, and legislating by Executive fiat is an example of the flagrantly unconstitutional principle affirmed by Richard Nixon :  “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” [Read more...]


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