Tuesday, February 4, 2014
The limit of executive power?
Mr. Obama used the State of the Union address threaten to use executive orders to make law to control guns (1, 2) according to his whim. Mr Obama has already made fresh law regarding his signature ObamaCare (3). This is fundamentally unconstitutional. The president is allowed to make executive orders to carry out Congressionally enacted laws-- all executive orders cannot legally contravene the will of Congress. The President is not to spin fresh law -- that is dictatorship.
A number of leftists and Democrats insist George Bush made executive orders, therefore Mr Obama may violate the Constitution. If only those dimbulbs could hear themselves. The Big Difference is Mr Bush's orders were in line with Congressionally enacted law -- Mr Obama has gone against the Congress, and the will of the People, over and over again.
Lets explore the Constitution's description of legislative power and then we'll look at presidential executive orders:
Article I, Section 1 states, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
This statement from the US Constitution is so clear it doesn't need explanation. Only the Congress may make law -- all others are forbidden (Yes, that includes legislating from the bench as so many corrupted 'liberal' judges do -- they should be removed).
The presidential power of executive order is a realistic convenience to the Congress, since carrying out law requires more attention to detail than a large Congress can muster. Thus the power is a necessity, but not an authorization for the president to become a dictator.
Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 states, "The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America." "Executive" means the president shall carry out the law.
Article II, Section 3, Clause 5 states, "[The President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States." The president shall take care to do only what the law states and not spin new law.
The executive order either follows directly from Congressional legislation, or is authority the Congress delegates to the president to make law, limited by the scope of the Congressional legislation.
An example of the first type of legislation would be if the safety of the nation is at stake: When Congress tells the president to make war on another nation, usually, the Congress doesn't manage war. Instead Congress leaves the actual making of war to the president and military. The president manages the war effort by delegating authority to the generals, etc. and does their purchasing for them, all via executive order.
Once in a while, the president will return to Congress to ask for more money to continue the war effort. Despite making war under Congressional authority, the president cannot lay and collect taxes - that power resides solely with the Congress.
An example of the second type of delegated authority is the creation of the Center for Disease Control. The Congress rarely deals with campaigns against germs past setting up the agency, and delegates that authority to the president, who then acquires the microscopes, test tubes and whatnot by way of executive order. In all of this, the President cannot exceed the law of Congress or re-direct the funds. The president would be guilty of malfeasance at least and possibly insurrection.
Both types of executive order are entirely under the terms and conditions as set by Congress, for pursuits as delimited in the law as Congress enacted it. Any misdirection of public authority or public funds should get the President removed from office.
The Constitution says we must impeach, try and convict a bad president (Article 1, Section 2, paragraph 5). This is largely a courtesy to the president, since shooting the bastard would be more convenient to the people.
Mr Obama altered the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by delaying the requirement that employers purchase insurance for the employees until 2015. The text of the law, as Congress enacted it and Mr Obama signed it requires that coverage begin in 2014.