21st Century Wire
April 8, 2012
Many a constitutional scholar were left with their jaws hanging near their ankles following Obama’s press conference on the White House lawn last week, where he railed against Supreme Court, describing their potential to overturn his Obamacare as that of an “Unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constitutional and passed law.”
According to the President, it would be “unprecedented” for the Supreme Court to overturn his health care law. His preemptive strike against the Supreme Court should worry more people than opponents of Obamacare.
What is most amazing is that this statement comes from someone who purports to have taught Constitutional Law at University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. One might come to conclusion that Obama had someone else take his law exams, not least because the Supreme Court’s ability to overturn such legislation hasn’t been “unprecedented” since Marbury v. Madison in 1803.
Even more disturbing than his individual display of legislative incompetency, or the chief executive’s own summary ignorance of history, is an inability to grasp the over arching concept of separation of powers, also known as “checks and balances”, which is the keystone of an American constitutional republic. The Constitution does not explicitly say whether any branch of government should rule over another, but James Madison, in the Federalist Papers, did hint that “it is not possible to give to each department an equal power of self-defense. In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates.”
This would probably be a good opportunity to remind the 44th President and his White House cadre that a separation of powers exists and is outlined in the United States Constitution which describes the relationship between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.
Simply put, these three branches of government are kept distinct from one another to prevent an abuse of power by either branch. To counter-balance this danger, federal legislative courts were founded and designed to adjudicate on questions of the public’s rights as determined by the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.
In short, the Constitutional provisions are there so that citizens may determine their own destiny – as opposed to a destiny dictated by a despot in the White House, or a corrupted Congress and Senate.
Why a petty dictator? If the President were a proper dictator he would simply begin his purge and declare himslef ‘President for Life’. But this power-grab is more subtle. This President is using dizzying legalese and covert manipulation in order to further weaken the fundamental law of the land – our Constitution, a document which is God given and ultimately serves to protect citizens’ indivual rights.
Obama’s harrowing comment yesterday allude to just that – what critics of Obamacare cite as a federalized power-grab, whereby Washington would dictate to each American citizen what- and which type of healthcare insurance policy he or she must purchase annually according to a federal mandate.
In the President’s case, his own record of executive abuse of power has come in the form of his endless signing statements and non-democratic executive orders.
In this special area, Obama has excelled and more than faithfully executed his duties as a President as described in the US Constitution, and in many cases going unlawfully beyond what the framers of the document envisioned. Some of Obama’s executive order jabs against the republic include:
||Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel
||Ensuring Lawful Interrogations
||Review and Disposition of Individuals Detained at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and Closure of Detention Facilities
||Review of Detention Policy Options
||Economy in Government Contracting
|| Amendments to Executive Order 13199 and Establishment of the President’s Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
|| Further Amendments to Executive Order 12835, Establishment of the National Economic Council
||Establishing the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board
||Establishment of the White House Office of Urban Affairs
||Amending Executive Order 13390
|| Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells
||Establishment of the White House Office of Health Reform
|| Establishing a White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers
||Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance
||Amending Executive Order 12425 Designating Interpol as a Public International Organization Entitled to Enjoy Certain Privileges, Exemptions, and Immunities
||Establishment of the Council of Governors.
|| Ensuring Enforcement and Implementation of Abortion Restrictions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
|| Establishing the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council
||President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
||Optimizing the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States
||Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes
||Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals With Disabilities
||Classified National Security Information Program for State, Local, Tribal, and Private Sector Entities
||Establishment of Pakistan and Afghanistan Support Office
||Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to North Korea
||2010 Amendments to the Manual for Courts-Martial, United States
|| Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to Serious Human Rights Abuses by the Government of Iran and Taking Certain Other Actions
|| White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
||Controlled Unclassified Information
||Export Enforcement Coordination Center
||Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria for Partnerships With Faith-Based and Other Neighborhood Organizations
||White House Council for Community Solutions
||Adjustments to Certain Rates of Pay
||Recruiting and Hiring Students and Recent Graduates
||National Defense Resources Preparedness
||Improving Performance of Federal Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects
There is not enough space in this article to do commentary justice to each of the above executive orders and illustrate how they serve as a mere run-around to avoid the US Constitution, further consolidating power inside the executive branch. The list is almost endless.
Suffice to say, Obama has continued the work of his predecessor George W. Bush – the most prolific executive order-signing President in US history and the original enabler of Patriot Acts I and II. If Obama sits his second term, continuing at his present clip, he will easily surpass Bush in number of executive orders. It is all too clear now that it was Bush who enabled the current petty dictatorship being aggressively cultivated by Barack Obama.
We should be reminded here that Obama campaigned- and won his election, on the promise to eliminate signing statements and curtail executive orders. Now look at the results.
When the executive branch of government in the United States becomes too powerful, the federal government can then openly – and duly protected by its own ingrown set of laws – freely wearing the mask of tyranny. Many now rightly believe that this is the case in America today.
The most interesting and disturbing of all is the very first executive order President Obama signed into de facto law on the 21st of January 2009 – his first day in office. Indeed, the first order of business was to invoke his new found executive privilege in order to seal any of his personal records – mostly notably, records which might affect his eligibility to hold the federal office of US President. That particular dictatory cover-up by Obama still continues to this day.
And finally, this brings us to the most recent, and rather disgusting piece of pseudo legislation already passed through the bowels of the federal machine, in which President Obama invoked the now infamous Homeland Battlefield Bill (NDAA) which firstly authorizes the use of military force, and issues an executive order declaring the threat of Iran a “National Emergency”, and secondly gives the White House banana republic-type authorities to detain indefinitely without trial, or even to assassinate(where itself deems prudent) any American citizen it considers an enemy of the state.
In reality, the NDAA has nothing to do with being ‘an enemy of the state’, as much as it has to do with being an enemy of the White House, or an enemy of its surrogate policy-making machine in New York, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Make no mistake about it, these are troubling times.