Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, July 07, 2014

The Imperial Presidency: Full Speed Ahead

Obama’s imperial presidency has come into focus again, as the president promises to usurp more authority from Congress even as the Supreme Court rejects his expansive views of executive power. His taunts to Republicans about unilaterally acting on issues such as immigration and the minimum wage drew a rebuke in the New York Daily News from Jonathan Turley, a law professor who voted for Obama but is concerned about damage to the separation of powers:

In our system, there is no license to go it alone. Rather, the Republic’s democratic architecture requires compromise. The process is designed to moderate legislation and create a broader consensus in support of these laws. Nor is congressional refusal to act on a particular prescription of how to fix the economy or repair immigration laws an excuse. Sometimes the country (and by extension Congress) is divided. When that happens, less gets done. The Framers understood such times. They lived in such a time.

Turley is not alone on the left. Even Obama’s appointees have joined some Supreme Court decisions that found his assertions of executive power unconstitutional (and sometimes ridiculous). In the New York Post, John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky chronicled the defeats suffered by the Justice Department in defending Obama’s indefensible theories on his constitutional powers. They note that in twenty cases, all nine justices sided against the administration.

Obama’s “pen and phone” strategy has yielded disaster wherever it has been used – we need only to look to the southern border for one example. Yet he ignores these consequences and only accelerates in dismantling the separation of powers.

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