Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Obama and the Constitution

William A. Jacobson, clinical professor at Cornell Law School:
Obama announced executive action to extend legalization for up to 5 million more immigrants, focusing on those who were in the country illegally but whose children were U.S. citizens by virtue of their birth here. Nearly two dozen times in the past Obama had stated publicly that he could not constitutionally undertake such actions, but he did it anyway.

This immigration end-run creates a class of people who effectively are exempt from the immigration laws, without Congress ever having recognized such an exemption. It is not prosecutorial discretion but a usurpation of legislative power.
Obama's attitude seems to be "I don't need no steenkin' Constitution."
There also have been dozens of unilateral actions as to Obamacare legislative requirements, including individual and employer mandate delays, and waivers of certain fees for unions. Of particular note, the IRS passed rules allowing purchasers on the federal exchanges to obtain subsidies the legislation reserves for state exchanges.
The Constitution is soooo 18th century.
As to the environment, EPA regulatory authority has been used expansively to scale-back the coal industry and shutter coal burning power plants. Those regulations have cost Democrats politically in states like West Virginia and Kentucky, but the damage to the coal industry may be irreversible.
Well, now, that was the point, wasn't it? Obama is willing to spend political capital in order to fundamentally transform America, and he is succeeding.

What ought to scare his supporters: Once he has continued the trend to a government of men instead of laws, the Other Side can and probably will do the same thing, in ways which may be far more egregious, and far from benign to Democrats. Execute American citizens overseas? Why not here as well? Use the IRS to harass Tea Partiers? Why not ramp that up and go for wholesale prosecutions of Democratic politicians? Cyber-spying on opponents? Well, that can be used for all sorts of things.

Anyone who thinks that the Republicans will never again control all three branches of government, and that they will feel restrained by the Constitution in ways the Democrats clearly do not, is naive. Those who demand to rule by decree shall eventually find out what it is like to be ruled by decree. When the Democrats hold, as they have with great success for decades, that the 2nd Amendment's "shall not be infringed" clearly means "of course we can make it a felony", imagine what government could do by applying that attitude toward the 1st Amendment and all of the others as well.

As the saying goes, "Payback is a bitch", and the Democrats are begging with all their hearts, and minds, and souls for payback. The whole country will be the worse for it.

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