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Obama’s amnesty plan turns discretion into illegitimate defiance

Obama’s amnesty plan turns discretion into illegitimate defiance

It’s the illegitimacy, stupid.,_2010.jpg

One of the most frequent questions I get is “How can we stop Obama from ….”

The ellipses reflects that there are a variety of issues on which people want Obama stopped.

The answer to most of those questions is, as Obama himself suggested, to go out and win some elections.

And that is exactly what just happened earlier this month.

In what appropriately could be termed a legal insurrection, voters around the country rejected the Party of Obama and his policies. So much so that Republicans in the House have a historic majority even beyond what the 2010 wave brought in, and Republicans regained control of the Senate by a comfortable margin.

That will go a long way towards stopping Obama, but only if Obama respects the boundaries of his constitutional power.

By tradition, a President respects the constitutional powers of the other branches of government, although there always is tension. When that respect is breached, there is precious little constitutional enforcement power.

Congress can write laws, but it cannot execute those laws; for that Congress depends on the Executive Branch, which is given some level of enforcement discretion since no legislation can be so specific as to delineate who does what and when.

Similarly, the Courts are loathe to get involved in refereeing political disputes between Congress and the President, and there even are questions as to whether Congress has “standing” to sue to demand enforcement. The Supreme Court has no army, other than the public expectation that its decisions will be respected.

On the flip side, Congress has no power, for example, to conduct its own foreign policy, appoint its own ambassadors and operate its own embassies.

The bonds that keep our constitutional system working are not through the barrel of a gun, but through the core good faith of each branch respecting constitutional boundaries.

Obama repeatedly in the past stated that he understood and would respect those boundaries.

Obama’s reported plan to grant executive amnesty to 5 million or more illegal aliens by means of non-enforcement of the immigration laws threatens to tear at that fragile bond.

Ross Douthat writes that Obama seems poised to disgrace himself on amnesty by turning discretion into defiance, The Great Immigration Betrayal:

IN the months since President Obama first seem [sic] poised — as he now seems poised again — to issue a sweeping executive amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, we’ve learned two important things about how this administration approaches its constitutional obligations.

First, we now have a clear sense of the legal arguments that will be used to justify the kind of move Obama himself previously described as a betrayal of our political order. They are, as expected, lawyerly in the worst sense, persuasive only if abstracted from any sense of precedent or proportion or political normality.

Second, we now have a clearer sense of just how anti-democratically this president may be willing to proceed….

The reality is there is no agreed-upon limit to the scope of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law because no president has attempted anything remotely like what Obama is contemplating. In past cases, presidents used the powers he’s invoking to grant work permits to modest, clearly defined populations facing some obvious impediment (war, persecution, natural disaster) to returning home. None of those moves even approached this plan’s scale, none attempted to transform a major public policy debate, and none were deployed as blackmail against a Congress unwilling to work the president’s will….

He once campaigned on constitutionalism and executive restraint; he once abjured exactly this power. There is still time for him to respect the limits of his office, the lines of authority established by the Constitution, the outcome of the last election.

Or he can choose the power grab, and the accompanying disgrace.

Normally, disgrace is a hugely motivating incentive for a President not to make the power grab.

In this case, do not expect that disgrace will disincentivize a President who views fundamental transformation of the country as his motivating doctrine.

So back to the question, What can be done to stop Obama’s amnesty plan?

Impeachment attempts (which never will get the needed Senate super majority) or another government partial shutdown seem to be what Democrats are hoping for, because they present an opportunity to change the subject while not changing Obama’s defiance.

I don’t have an answer, but focusing on public opinion matters. A joint congressional resolution declaring Obama’s actions null and void will put all on notice of the illegitimacy in the eyes of the people’s representatives.

Also, organize a public legal insurrection at the state and local level refusing to recognize the executive action as legitimate. Force Obama to sue to enforce the executive action.

Make the issue Obama’s defiance of our laws, and the illegitimacy of his actions the centerpiece of the public debate.

At the end of the day I’m not sure there is anything that can “stop” the extra-constitutional amnesty, but there is much to be done to make sure that disgrace has consequences.


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Control freaks don’t respect boundaries of any kind. The whole point is to find a way to lie, manipulate or exert force to get around those boundaries.

“Also, organize a public legal insurrection at the state and local level refusing to recognize the executive action as illegitimate.”

Yeeeeup. If the deal’s off, Barracula, it’s off all the way. No taxes for you, buddy. And that business your crony has in our state…consider it shut down. It’ll be ringed by people who just think its important to show you that this “community organizer” thingy works every which’a way. Nobody in or out. Call it a “picket line”. You’ve seen those before, right?

And those commuter lines that carry all your flying monkeys into DC from their burbs? Plan on those being shut down, too.

You’ve got a LOT more vulnerabilities than you ever imagined, and you just might give some really pissed-off, imaginative people reason to think creatively.

(Very dark “heh”)

This could be the first administration in history in which both the President and Vice President are (or should have been) carted off either in handcuffs or straight jackets to cells in a prison or mental ward. That would put Boehner in charge, L-RD have mercy upon us.

As long as the media neglects its duties, this will continue. They actively support everything this cretin does. By not repudiating this illegal act they render it legal in the eyes of Obama’s followers, who are free to support it without criticism except from the right, which bothers them not a wit. The media, more than any other entity, are Obama’s enablers, and are directly responsible for the decay of our country.

Impeachment is the power the legislature has over the executive. The legislature’s duty to oversee the executive is meaningless without impeachment.

All of us, including the legislature, object to the DOJ’s refusal to enforce the law. We ought now object to the legislature’s failure to oversee the executive.

I have called my house rep, Dr. Phil Gingrey’s office, and asked that he vote ask a CR through the fiscal year (Sept. 2015) so the House can use the power of the purse to defund it.

We have a man that runs a nonprofit, D.A, King, (The Dustin Inman Society) here in Georgia and he is trying to get them to remove driver’s licenses from DACA types.

Bring up for an Article 5 convention proposal with your state reps, to eliminate birthright citizenship and create a border defense army.

Call your house and senate officials, and ask them to vote AGAINST a Continuing Resolution through September 2015 and to vote FOR only a short one, so they can rein Obama in by defunding his usurpation on amnesty.

Remind them that despite the shut down in 2013, they won big in 2014. And remind them to remind their voters that despite the shutdown, Obama allowed illegal aliens in the park, but not our combat veterans.

    We need to start pressuring our state governments to act. The states, if they will act in concert, have the ability to stop Obama’s tyranny. Those residency and work permits that Obama plans to issue to millions of “amnestied” illegal aliens don’t have to be recognized as legally valid by the states — and they should NOT be so recognized, since they will not be legally valid, having been issued by a president clearly acting outside of his constitutional authority (by his own admission).

    We need to contact our state governors and legislators and demand that they work together to protect our rights. Obama’s plan to lawlessly grant legal status to millions of illegal aliens will impose billions of dollars in new expenses on state taxpayers, rob us of scarce jobs, and subject us to crimes by the thousands of new illegal aliens who will come pouring across the border to try to get in on the amnesty (either this one, or the inevitable next one).

I think you’re on the right track here, Professor. When I was raising small children, I had to design consequences so that the sufferer was the transgressor — the child, and not the adults. We are dealing with an overgrown baby in the White House, who has no sense of shame or respect for the laws he swore to uphold. He needs to feel the pain.

Here we see the essential difference between fallible humans in politics. The Republicans in general feel shame and respect the law in the end. Democrats don’t; whatever they can get away with is okay with them. Of course there are exceptions on both sides, but the general approach of both parties is clear.

And this is directed to Professor Jacobson and other academic types: It would be good to be thinking outside the box – not just on this issue — and writing articles with new observations and theories on the judiciary.

For example, in Plyler v. Doe USSC 1983 (or 1982?), Texas’ policy of charging illegal aliens tution to attend public schools was shut down. This was pure policy making by the court, and contributed – just as striking down California’s prop. 187 – to the ability of uneducated Central Americans to walk across our border and make America theirs. Not ours, but theirs.

The court’s willingness to act as a legislative body, and to overrule voters, should cause much reflection on whether we have been too timid to impeach judges, and whether we have been too restrained in our control of them.

They’ve seriously remade our country, as though we were rubes and they were Plato’s philosopher-kings. And look what they’re making – a balkanized socieity, where Americans aren’t permitted to love America and want to keep her. We have to worry about the climate warming – over which we have no control — but can’t worry about having to pay for the needs of illegal aliens, who keep sitting in our living rooms and eating all our groceries.

Where is the academic school of thought defending America against the dictatorial judges? Other than Phyllis Schafly?

“refusing to recognize the executive action as illegitimate.

Shouldn’t that be:

“legitimate” …
refusing to recognize it as illegitimate”

Recognize it as illegitimate seems better than just not recognizing it.

My suggestion is that Republicans warn members of the executive branch who would be put in the position of carrying out Obama’s illegal orders, that they cannot in the future (when we have restored lawful government) be exempt from prosecution for violating federal law. I.e. they cannot use the Nuremburg defense, “I was just following orders.” If we are in fact under the rule of law, federal officials violate the law by following illegal orders from their superiors. We need more discussion of what members of the EXECUTIVE branch can do to stop this lawlessness.

Second and Third-world nations are thrilled that Obama will facilitate shifting their burden without a public spectacle to invite scrutiny of causes and responsibility to their own citizens.

As for the Republican Congress, we don’t yet know where overlapping interests will converge or diverge from the Democrats they replaced. Time will tell.

There’s a much easier and much more sure way to stop amnesty. Search for the “Stop Amnesty Challenge” to find it. That doesn’t require Congress or state reps to do anything. The only thing needed to make it happen is someone willing to go ask a politician one of the Challenge questions. Some people might not see how asking a question could work, but it will: the Challenge questions are designed to box politicians into admitting the downsides of Obama’s plans. Once a politician does that, the cat will be out of the bag.

Those with large audiences could easily make the Challenge happen by helping recruit someone to ask one of those questions. So, tweet or email those with large audiences and urge them to help out.

People can still hope for impeachment, or keep sending FAXes, or whatever. All I’m suggesting is adding the Challenge to the list of methods you use. There’s no harm in trying it and seeing if it works.

A claimed power not to deport someone that the law says must be deported does not also include the additional power to grant them a privilege to work.

A private employer can refuse to recognize any illegally granted right to work, then face possible court action by our equally rouge DOJ. Such target would have standing.

I love the idea of providing notice of the illegality by way of a “joint congressional resolution declaring Obama’s actions null and void.” It is not so much for the benefit of the people generally but for Obama’s intended beneficiaries who will subsequently claim that you cannot retroactively undue any illegally granted rights. Stop the ratchet, or indeed reverse it to restore order to before the prior illegality. Include the now two year old DACA executive order in the declaration.

    Ragspierre in reply to pdxnag. | November 16, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Congress…and the legislatures of the states…could pass a law giving a private cause of action against any employer who knowingly or negligently provided employment to an illegal alien.

    The Federal cause could be vetoed by Barracula. WOuld it be over-ridden by Congress? Depends.

    The state causes WOULD NOT be susceptible to any ScamWOW veto.

    I think the idea has merit.

    dorsaighost in reply to pdxnag. | November 16, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    anyone in DHS that issues a green card to an illegal alien is breaking the law and thus Obama cannot order them to do so … Well, he can, but the order is illegal and federal employees should be put on notice that they will be prosecuted in 2017 under a new President …

Some people need hangin.

not deporting someone doesn’t make them legal … giving them a green card does and Obama has no discretionary power to do that … anyone who follows that order in the government is following an illegal order and has a Constitutional responsibility to not follow it …

We conservatives need to get organized and united politically. It starts where we live. At the precinct level and by becoming “voting members” of our political party. Fewer than half of the Republican Party’s local precinct committeeman slots are filled. Read about the Precinct Committeeman Strategy here:

It works, but only if conservatives fill up the vacant committeeman positions.

I hope this helps.

Thank you.

How about Congress passing a law that says, all employees of the Government who obey unconstitutional orders given them by their superiors permanently lose all pension rights?

    JPL17 in reply to daniel. | November 17, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Sorry, I meant to click “Reply” and accidentally down-dinged you instead. I sure wish there were a “Down-Ding Undo” button — I could have used it!

    Anyway, the reply I *meant* to post was that the House also has the power to *impeach* Obama appointees who obey unconstitutional executive orders. So the day after the Dept. of Homeland Security begins to implement the illegal amnesty order, the House should file articles of impeachment against the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and so on and so on, right down the line.

somebody with a large set of stones should make a citizens arrest

What if the joint congressional resolution authorized a petition for mandamus to rescind the executive order? Wouldn’t the next step then be an injunctive lawsuit. Sure the Federal District Court and the DC Circuit Court would reject for lack of standing, but the Supreme Court would take it up. What then?

And what if the White House simply refused to acknowledge the lawsuit in the manner of Andrew Jackson?

Am I missing something in this analysis?

I thought of an idea this weekend that I think would work to stop Obama’s unconstitutional power grab. If the Republicans in the Senate will warn him that if he takes this unconstitutional step, they will be forced to stop him from harming the country in the future by rejecting any nominees he makes to the federal judiciary in his last two years in office. If he can’t be trusted to follow the Constitution, his appointees can’t be trusted either. Therefore, if he unconstitutionally grants amnesty to illegal immigrants, he will not be able to will approval for any of his nominees to federal courts including the Supreme Court. Of course this will require the Republicans in the Senate to stand up to defend the Constitution. I hope they would do this.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | November 17, 2014 at 8:17 am

Democratic Congressmen have to turn on Obama. Otherwise the administration does what it always does and runs to the media and gets them to sell it to the public as a phony scandal driven by partisan Republicans and Fox News. Putting pressure on Democratic Congressman will be more effective than calling your Republican congressman.

The other thing that would have a symbolic impact is if the head of INS or some other high ranking immigration official resigned in protest of the policy. We already know from their numerous complaints to the media that rank and file ICE employees are fed up with the administration’s immigration policy. And we know from the administration’s immigration plans leaked to the press last week that the administration wants to give ICE employees a raise. A cynical person might say that looks similar to attempted bribery to get them to shut them up, something you’d expect right out of a banana republic. I’m not sure how responsive the toadies at the top are to public opinion since they work in the executive branch, but an organized effort targeting one guy may get him to reconsider whether he wants to be complicit in destroying the Constitutional foundation upon which the country rests.

Of your three suggestions of possible legal insurrections, I like:

“Also, organize a public legal insurrection at the state and local level refusing to recognize the executive action as legitimate. Force Obama to sue to enforce the executive action,” the best.

In fact, this may even be a very good issue to call for an Article V amendment convention either via Congress, or the states.

I wonder, would Obama have a veto on a Congressional amendment bill; probably, I suspect. But still, it would only hurt his presidency more.

ex animo

Conservative Beaner | November 17, 2014 at 6:02 pm

So Barack. Were you lying to Latinos that you could not grant amnesty so you could keep the Senate in Democrats hands or are you lying to the American people that you can grant amnesty to get the Latino vote?