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Even more on Obama lawlessness (Video added)

Even more on Obama lawlessness (Video added)

A follow up to An increasingly dangerous presidency and More on Obama lawlessness.

You can read the full testimonies at the links. The key thing is that there may be no remedy — other than at the ballot box in 2014 — to Obama’s lawlessness. There are issues of standing (who can sue) and other gaps caused by the separation of powers which may allow Obama to get away with it, at least in part.

That’s the key thing that some misperceive — lawlessness is still lawlessness even if you can get away with it.

Professor Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Law Center (h/t Hot Air), testimony before Congress:

People of good faith can clearly disagree on where the line is drawn over the failure to fully enforce federal laws. There is ample room given to a president in setting priorities in the enforcement of laws. A president is not required to enforce all laws equally or dedicate the same resources to every federal program. Even with this ample allowance, however, I believe that President Barack Obama has crossed the constitutional line between discretionary enforcement and defiance of federal law.

Professor Nicholas Rosenkranz, Georgetown Law Center (text via Gretawire)(added – full text here):

The President has a personal obligation to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” The word “faithfully” is, perhaps, a broad grant of discretion, but it is also a real and important constraint. The President cannot suspend laws altogether. He cannot favor unenacted bills over duly enacted laws. And he cannot discriminate on the basis of politics in his execution of the laws. The President has crossed all three of these lines.

There also was a good discussion on Greta tonight. If I can find the video, I’ll post it.

Update 12-4-2013: Here’s the video:

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Comments

BannedbytheGuardian | December 3, 2013 at 8:46 pm

My reply to those legal eagles would be ……but he does.

And he has an army a navy an Air Force the IRS The DHS the DOJ the FBI the CIA NSA & Chris Matthews.

Obama about 57,000 American people 0

I was glued to the hearing. So much to love (I posted on the tip line).

Toward the end, a reference to the Pacific Legal Foundation’s continuing challenge to “PPACA”( otherwise known as ScamWOWcare) which I’ve been following.

But I didn’t know this —

“[Obamacare] says that if Congress wants to abolish the [IPAB aka “Independmant Payment Advisory Board”], it has to pass a joint resolution within a 29 day window in 2017 by a vote of 3/5 of all elected members of Congress. That’s the most severe supermajority requirement in the history of American law. (Only 2/3 of all present members of Congress can remove a sitting President, for example.) And it gets worse: the law tries to make IPAB unrepealable. It provides that if Congress fails to pass that resolution during that 29 day window, Congress’ power to eliminate IPAB goes away, and the agency becomes permanent, writing its “recommendations” into law into the indefinite future.

This be death panel. http://blog.pacificlegal.org/2013/plf-files-brief-challenging-obamacares-unconstitutional-platonic-guardians/

    byondpolitics in reply to Bruno Lesky. | December 3, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    3/5<2/3.

    Browndog in reply to Bruno Lesky. | December 3, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I must be living in a time warp, because I swear I recall this debate in late 2009/early 2010…

    ..When the argument was that one Congress could not bind a future Congress, so they slipped this little provision in to provide a “window” as a loophole…

    Or, maybe I was reading the wrong things…or the right things-

      patriot077 in reply to Browndog. | December 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      I recall that too. Jim DeMint tried his level best to show how damaging this little tidbit actually was. There are probably youtubes out there. He was a lone ranger iirc.

    I do not have authorities to cite, but I doubt that these attempts to restrict future legislative sessions from modifying the law will stand up. I suppose that opinion has to have a large caveat if the decision ultimately would be made by the soon-to-be-packed DC court of appeals.

    Karen Sacandy in reply to Bruno Lesky. | December 3, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Well, my recollection is a legislative body, including Congress, can’t tie the hands of its successors. The SC justices specifically and dryly noted, they didn’t read the whole Obamacare legislation, and the suit they ruled upon appears to have been narrow in its grounds of challenge.

    So, this is just another part that should be ruled unconstitutional by the SC, if it ever gets around to it.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Bruno Lesky. | December 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    It only restricts people who obey the law. That ship has sailed vis-a-vis the American presidency.

      platypus in reply to Henry Hawkins. | December 4, 2013 at 9:33 am

      Well, just what does “obeying the law” mean nowadays? If the line isn’t clear, how can anybody be properly convicted “beyond a reasonable doubt,” if it could be reasonably argued more than one way?

      Our situation is far more dire than even us smart guys know, because we cannot predict where the legal horizon is. I would say that we are already reverted to a tribal society, which is basically many separate versions of common law, depending on geographic jurisdiction.

The way I used to explain it to clients is whether there is an effective legal remedy for the wrong.

It was my job to get that in a contract. But the oath was supposed to serve part of that function over the Executive. If the end game matters more than the oath and there are no more reelections that hit you personally, what’s the actual recourse here?

Especially with a still covering media for the most part.

“What difference, at this point, does it make!!”

I hope some will see that this statement was not just an emotional outburst by one person, under one set of circumstance.

It’s a mantra. It’s a governing philosophy.

It’s a template.

Don’t believe me?

Watch a Jay Carney press briefing, or a Barack Obama speech, or read a NYT editorial.

We are being conditioned to just accept the past as some kind of fluke, happenstance. Time to Lean forward

Karen Sacandy | December 3, 2013 at 9:34 pm

The problem is, Obama has park rangers willing to turn on Americans for a paycheck. And a whole bunch of other people willing to do the same.

This is the fundamental problem.

No remedy means no justice, no accountability, no nothing. Hard to believe there is no “remedy” in a country based on the rule of law…guess it’s not.

    Browndog in reply to lgstarr. | December 3, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Funny. That reminded me of a letter written to King George from the Colonies following the Currency Act of 1764.

    Googled it, and thrice the “do no harm’ers” changed my search words…

    ..not sure, but I think I just signed up for Obamacare.

Why not impeachment; unlike Bill Clinton’s?

    9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to Ike1. | December 3, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    I’ve been mulling the “I” word…the current crop of Republicans haven’t the backbone necessary. There are so many possibilities, Obamacare lawlessness, Benghazi, Fast and Furious. I blame Bubba. How someone whose law license was suspended for conduct unbecoming a member of the bar could survive impeachment is beyond me. It’s another third rail…or at least it’s perceived that way.

      He can be impeached if the mainstream media will start doing its job and Republicans take the Senate in 2014.

        9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to janitor. | December 3, 2013 at 10:35 pm

        I can’t hold my breath that long.

        platypus in reply to janitor. | December 4, 2013 at 9:40 am

        Impeachment has nothing to do with the Senate. Impeachment is akin to a grand jury indictment. The Senate conducts the trial.

        The most important thing is that merely trying the POTUS exposes everything to public scrutiny. The verdict really doesn’t matter much since the VP takes over if a conviction happens. Politically, the trial exposes the bad guys to public scrutiny with no place to hide and buck naked under bright lights.

Doug Wright Old Grouchy | December 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Professor: So, who has standing to sue Obama for his lawless acts, especially in changing his Obamacare law to suit his political needs? Obama might have some leeway regarding enforcement of laws yet he doesn’t have the right to change laws, as he’s done regarding Obamacare, the employer mandate and then the very recent small employer mandate!

If Obama is not challenged on his executive actions changing statutory laws, then where are the bounds on his dictates?

Also, where’s the lawsuit regarding that unconstitutional financial law, which originated in the Senate, not in the House? And, why hasn’t such a lawsuit been filed?

    The answer to all your questions is impeachment. There is no basis for a lawsuit, and anybody filing one would be properly sanctioned for wasting the court’s time with frivolous claims.

Can’t add much to what Turley and Rosenkranz have said. Obama clearly is out of line. Part of the problem is an out-of-control burgeoning of the bureaucracy.

These problems should have been slammed down hard in 2012. They weren’t because the mainstream media fell down on its job. I worry that we are veering toward a point of no return. The corruption (including in the elections), the abuse of power, spying on and threatening of Americans (especially those who speak in opposition), the entitlements (bribery) that facilitates so many to adopt willing delusion, the evisceration and weakening of watchdogs and checks and balances of all kinds (as well as our military) is truly scary.

    9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to janitor. | December 3, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    I’m tired of the hand-wringing over the media. Amazon can bypass everything; conservatives should be able to figure out how to bypass the media. We have to be as ruthless a competitor as Jeff Bezos.

      Why, in a country based on the constitution, does the media make or break our freedom and our future?? (Plus, “the media” isn’t just the major newspapers and three tv stations anymore, either!)

        9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to lgstarr. | December 4, 2013 at 12:10 am

        People sure act like it is. The only people I know who get their news from dinosaur media (CNN, NYT) are in their mid- late-80s. Social media is often so much fishbowl gossip. When something “big” happens, people still turn to the big networks. It’s not rocket science, although that phrase might be passé now; perhaps we should say it’s not drone science?

I was curious why Professor Turley hadn’t recently been on any pundit panels and now I know. He is too connected to facts= hard on Obama

We have a communist in the White House. Why wouldn’t he act like one? This is like freaking out when a tiger kills its zookeeper: that’s what vicious animals do.

The outrage here is Squeaker of the House, John Boehner.

Boehner, do something, damn you.

What about The People Of The United States?

Doesn’t The People have the standing to sue?
Can’t Republicans join in a block to challenge the President’s lawlessness, in representation of their constituents? Can’t John Doe challenge the President and demand he sticks to the Rule Of Law?

IANAL, but if that’s so, if under the current set of rules the Executive can find a way to get away with ignoring the law, maybe it’s time to revise and amend.

    platypus in reply to Exiliado. | December 4, 2013 at 9:54 am

    No, the people have no standing to sue. That’s substantially because we are a constitutional representative republic, not a democracy. The remedy is impeachment, and repeal of the offending legislation.

Jonathan Turley called for war crimes trials of the Bush Administration. How is that coming along?

Turley brings up three points; non-defense orders, prioritizations, and signing statements. None of these does he call “lawless”, but of concern to the precedent regarding the separation of powers saying “The actions of the Obama Administration challenge core principles of the separation of powers and lack meaningful limiting principles for future executive orders.”

Nicholas Rosenkranz also brings up three points; Obamacare suspension, Immigration and Nationality Act Suspension, and IRS Targeting. The IRS Targeting is strictly against the law, so there are already sufficient remedies. However, the evidence has been lacking. As for the Obamacare suspension, he doesn’t discuss the president’s authority under the Administrative Procedure Act. The best case he makes is concerning people who immigrated a children. However, the Obama Administration has actually increased criminal deportations and deportations overall, so it is reasonable to argue that he has shifted resources appropriately. Moreover, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals only defers action, and doesn’t confer any other status to these persons. Of note, as a presidential candidate, Mitt Romney said he would also honor the policy.

All of these actions are subject to judicial review. Additional legislation could also be addressed to the problem.

The last thing I want is to see Obama impeached. President Biden? He’d be a toadie puppet. In effect, that would give us President Reidosi, and a new administration just as bad as the current one, but with a clean slate for the next three years, plus President Joe Reidosi running for reelection. No thanks.

The Obama administration is effectively castrating itself, cementing in its lame duck status. A lame duck Obama and a do-nothing congress is probably the best we can hope for till 2016.

    Is it better to not impeach just because of Biden or to impeach and air all of his transgressions. Personally I believe it is better to impeach Obama to restore the limits and seperation of powers that he has upset.

There is a difference between legality and recourse. If the executive refuses to enforce a law for whatever reason, there isn’t recourse and he enjoys immunity for all acts done as president. However anyone who goes along with this could be civilly liable.

Welcome to the “unitary executive.” Remember?

One big problem here is the issue of “standing”, or the legal capacity to bring a challenge in court.

I have long advocated that every state should have “standing” in Federal matters, in the person of the state governor, or in the state legislature.

I’ve never seen a good argument against giving all members of Congress standing, either.

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