How wonderful it must be to be King eh?
Our Royal Highness, The King of the United States of America, has decided himself to bypass Congress and issue a executive order stopping all deportation of those here illegally, not all here illegally but only those who were brought here as children. It’s not formal legalization, it’s de facto legalization.
Obama once said that he didn’t have the power to do this:
THE PRESIDENT: I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce. And I think there’s been a great disservice done to the cause of getting the DREAM Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by perpetrating the notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things. It’s just not true…
[W]e live in a democracy. You have to pass bills through the legislature, and then I can sign it. And if all the attention is focused away from the legislative process, then that is going to lead to a constant dead-end. We have to recognize how the system works, and then apply pressure to those places where votes can be gotten and, ultimately, we can get this thing solved. And nobody will be a stronger advocate for making that happen than me.
But now His Majesty decides he no longer has to enforce those laws on the books.
Well, he needs votes since he seems to be getting creamed at the polls.
Laws? Eh…who needs em. Congress? Eh…they can get bent.
He will rule what must be done, when it must be done, and how it must be done.
John Yoo, who knows just a bit about Executive Branch authority, says he is out of bounds:
Under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution, the president has the duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This provision was included to make sure that the president could not simply choose, as the British King had, to cancel legislation simply because he disagreed with it. President Obama cannot refuse to carry out a congressional statute simply because he thinks it advances the wrong policy. To do so violates the very core of his constitutional duties.
There are two exceptions, neither of which applies here. The first is that “the Laws” includes the Constitution. The president can and should refuse to execute congressional statutes that violate the Constitution, because the Constitution is the highest form of law. We in the Bush administration argued that the president could refuse to execute laws that infringed on the executive’s constitutional powers, particularly when it came to national security — otherwise, a Congress that had a different view of foreign policy could order the military to refuse to carry out the president’s orders as Commander-in-Chief, for example. When presidents such as Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, and FDR said that they would not enforce a law, they did so when the law violated their executive powers under the Constitution or the individual rights of citizens.
So where will this kind of power play lead in the future? You know, once Obama is gone and future Republican and Democrat Presidents sit in the oval office:
…Imagine the precedent this claim would create. President Romney could lower tax rates simply by saying he will not use enforcement resources to prosecute anyone who refuses to pay capital-gains tax. He could repeal Obamacare simply by refusing to fine or prosecute anyone who violates it.
So what we have here is a president who is refusing to carry out federal law simply because he disagrees with Congress’s policy choices. That is an exercise of executive power that even the most stalwart defenders of an energetic executive — not to mention the Framers — cannot support.
Do the Democrats really want to go down this road? Do they really believe they will have the White House for the rest of eternity?
No, a Republican will get into the White House and under the precedent set by His Majesty rule what he wants to enforce and when.
This is a slippery slope that neither side should accept.