The president's power grab

Obama is not a dictator, but there is a danger in his aggregation of executive power.

Jonathan Turley
The Los Angeles Times

Recently, a bizarre scene unfolded on the floor of the House of Representatives that would have shocked the framers of the Constitution. In his State of the Union address, President Obama announced that he had decided to go it alone in areas where Congress refused to act to his satisfaction. In a system of shared powers, one would expect an outcry or at least stony silence when a president promised to circumvent the legislative branch. Instead, many senators and representatives erupted in rapturous applause; they seemed delighted at the notion of a president assuming unprecedented and unchecked powers at their expense.

Last week, Obama underlined what this means for our system: The administration unilaterally increased the transition time for individuals to obtain the level of insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act. There is no statutory authority for the change — simply the raw assertion of executive power.

The United States is at a constitutional tipping point: The rise of an uber presidency unchecked by the other two branches…

…James Madison fashioned a government of three bodies locked in a synchronous orbit by their countervailing powers. The system of separation of powers was not created to protect the authority of each branch for its own sake. Rather, it is the primary protection of individual rights because it prevents the concentration of power in any one branch. In this sense, Obama is not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system; he has become the very danger that separation of powers was designed to avoid…



Professor Turley’s op-ed can be read in its entirety at The Los Angeles Times.



Related:  Congress’ Real Problem: They’re Letting Regulators Become Legislators

…In recent years the problem isn’t that lawmakers have left the House. It’s that they’ve stopped being lawmakers. Nobody has kept Dingell  – and his 434 elected colleagues — from legislating. The fact that they don’t legislate is a self-inflicted wound. Congress has willinglygiven up much of its lawmaking authority.

“In terms of actual policy, most of the action is located in administrative agencies and departments, not in the Congress and the President as is commonly thought. Unelected bureaucrats—not elected representatives—are running the show,” scholar Joe Postell notes


Update: GOP brings forth bill that lets Obama be sued

A new Republican-sponsored bill would open the doors for lawsuits to go forth against the Obama administration, a dramatic measure aimed at curbing the powers of the president when it’s perceived he’s broken federal law.

Called the ENFORCE the Laws Act, the bill is a direct response to Mr. Obama’s ordered delays to certain Obamacare implementations, and to his 2011 executive decision to halt deportation proceedings against illegals who haven’t been charged with crimes, The Hill reported…



Comments are closed.