If there’s one thing that Barack Obama is good at, it’s this: circumventing the rule of law. As soon as he was inaugurated, he began a campaign of undermining the rule of law with a variety of executive orders, unconstitutional appointments and just plain ignoring the laws of the United States.
An early flagrant act was the appointment of a number of special assistants, the so-called “czars”, without Senate advise and consent. It was so flagrant and widespread that the late Senator Robert Byrd (D-WVA) complained directly to Obama in a letter that was made public.
In his letter to Obama, Byrd said that the czar system “can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances.” Byrd added that oversight of federal agencies is the responsibility of officials approved by the Senate.
“As presidential assistants and advisers, these White House staffers are not accountable for their actions to the Congress, to cabinet officials, or to virtually anyone but the president. They rarely testify before congressional committees, and often shield the information and decision-making process behind the assertion of executive privilege. In too many instances, White House staff have been allowed to inhibit openness and transparency, and reduce accountability.”
When the Senate defeated Obama’s Cap and Trade legislation, he simply instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to implement much of the bill in new regulations that accomplished the same goals.
The Department of Justice, with White House approval, declined to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, a law passed by the Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton. This action forced the House to provide counsel for the on-going court battle.
More recently, we have seen the President through the Department of Homeland Security arbitrarily change the immigration laws of the United States in order to benefit electorally with the key Hispanic voting bloc. Using the so-called policy of “prosecutorial discretion”, the DHS will no longer deport illegals who are under 30.
People who were brought to the United States before the age of 16 and meet certain criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those eligible will receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.
Prosecutorial discretion is used every day in thousands of cases across the length and breadth of America. However, the Obama administration has taken the practice to a whole new level, exempting entire classes of criminals from prosecution. In the case of his most recent use of the practice, Barack Obama has given what amounts to amnesty for hundreds of thousands of illegals.
The latest attempt to circumvent the law is the administration’s changes to welfare reform after the Department of Health and Human Services quietly notified states that they may seek a waiver for the program’s strict work requirements.
“President Obama just tore up a basic foundation of the welfare contract” Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said in a statement. He also called the move a “blatant violation of the law.” Questions are being posed to the administration asking HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for a more detailed explanation of the change and her authority for making it.
During the entire time that Barack Obama has been President, it seems that he has attempted to rule by decree. He has issued well over 10,000 Executive Orders. Amid the mundane ones that proclaim this day or that, there have been a number of orders that were attempts to bypass the Congress and tip the balance of powers in the favor of the Executive Branch.
When laws were not passed to his satisfaction, he simply ordered an agency or department to write new rules that incorporate what was turned down by the Congress. On that basis, why do we even need elected representatives? Barack Obama can simply proclaim himself President-for Life and send everyone else home.
Richard Billies is founder and purveyor of AllThingsPolitcalToday.com and a frequent contributor to the SNSPost. The opinions expressed in this article are those of Mr. Billies and not necessarily those of the SNSPost or its staff.