Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Obama Is Circumventing the Legislative Branch

MONDAY, JULY 18, 2011
Political Pistachio

Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution grants all federal legislative authorities to the U.S. Congress.

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.

When studying the language used in Article I, Section 1, the original intent by the Founding Fathers literally becomes all too obvious.

The first word in the first section of Article I is the word “all.” The fascinating thing about the word “all” is that it means, as shocking as it may seem, “all.”

The following words are “legislative powers.” Legislative powers are the ability to make law, modify law, repeal law, and anything else that has to do with affecting law.

The next word is “herein,” which strangely enough means “here in,” as in “here in this constitution.”

The word “granted” follows “herein.” “Granted” is defined as “to give,” or “to allow,” or more specifically “to legally transfer.” If powers are granted, then there must be a “grantor,” as well. As indicated in the Preamble of the Constitution, the “grantor” is the States.

“Shall be” is definitive. In other words, shall does not mean “ought to,” or “maybe.” Shall means that “it is,” or “it will be.”

“Vested” is much like “granted.” Vested is a legal transfer of something, or in this case, an allowance to have legislative powers at the federal level.

The Congress of the United States is the legislative branch of the federal government, and this clause indicates that not only will the Congress be granted all legislative powers given to the federal government, but that the branch of government consists of two houses; a Senate and House of Representatives.

Once again, all legislative powers, according to this clause, are granted to the Congress by the States for the purpose of making law, modifying law, or repealing law. The powers are herein granted, which means that the laws must fall within the authorities granted by the text of the U.S. Constitution. In other words, laws made must remain consistent with the “powers herein granted.”

When one considers this clause, it becomes clear that when members of the judiciary legislates from the bench, or the President issues an executive order to modify a law, such an action is unconstitutional. After all, “all legislative powers” were granted to the Congress, not to the judicial branch, or the Executive branch.

Since all legislative powers belong to the Congress, it would also then be reasonable to consider any regulations by federal departments that are not in line with laws made by the Congress that are in line with the authorities granted by the Constitution to be unconstitutional as well. Once again, all legislative powers belong to the Congress, therefore any “legislative actions” by regulatory agencies are not in line with the original intent.

We must be reminded of who gave the federal government those powers herein the Constitution in the first place. Those powers that the federal government has were “granted” by someone. The authorities the federal government enjoys were granted by the States. “We The People of the United States” granted those powers to the federal government. Therefore, if the federal government acts in a manner that is not consistent with the contract between the States and the U.S. Government, the States have the option to ignore those unconstitutional actions by the federal government. This action of ignoring unconstitutional law is the States’ way of being the final arbiters of the Constitution. The term for this kind of action by a State is “nullification.”

The executive branch under Barack Obama has disregarded the U.S. Constitution, and Barry Obama is circumventing the legislative branch to accomplish his transformation of the United States into a European-style socialist nation.

During his presidential campaign, Obama promised to respect Congress’s authority to draft the nation’s laws, yet since he became President, Mr. Obama has demonstrated a habitual tendency of circumventing the legislative branch.

The liberal democrats claimed George W. Bush stomped all over the Constitution, but via administrative fiat whenever he feels like it, Obama has taken the law into his own hands, or dismantles the law, whenever it is in line with what he is trying to accomplish with his agenda.

Obama has been legislating without congressional action through executive orders, refusing to enforce existing federal laws, is legislating through his regulatory agencies, and his forcing regulatory control over the populace through his unconstitutional czars.

Obama is circumventing the legislative branch so that he can force upon the populace his statism through environmental regulations (cap and trade through EPA after Congress voted it down in 2009), labor laws (Expanding powerful labor unions with plans to dramatically reduce the time to conduct unionization elections via the “Employee Free Choice Act”), immigration Law (DREAM Act — which would provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who came to the United States before they were 16 — after the lame-duck Congress failed to pass it late last year; officials at Obama’s Department of Homeland Security have instructed Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and attorneys to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” for illegal immigrants who have attended school in the United States, meaning far fewer such illegal immigrants will be prosecuted and deported. The agency cited a shortage of resources, but the decision amounts to a de facto implementation of the DREAM Act), selective enforcement of federal law (Rather than push Congress to repeal federal laws against marijuana use, Obama’s Justice Department decided in 2009 that it woulsimply stop enforcing those laws - note: all federal drug laws are unconstitutional in the first place, but that is a different article for a different day. The Justice Department again employed this tactic in February when it announced that it would no longer enforce another federal law: the Defense of Marriage Act - which is also unconstitutional, but once again is an argument for another day), regulating the Internet (The FCC decided late last year to assume authority over Internet regulation despite a ruling by a federal appeals court explicitly denying the commission that authority).

But Obama isn't stopping there, and he has no plans to stop any time soon. Right now Obama is considering a number of proposals that would advance his legislative agenda without congressional consideration or approval, or consider constitutionality, including re-regulation of campaign finance laws to circumvent a Supreme Court decision and waivers of the No Child Left Behind law in the face of congressional inaction.

Without control of the House of Representatives, Obama is resorting to tyrannical measures, seizing power for himself through regulation.

In fact, he is acting much like a dictator, who does whatever he wants when he can't get Congress to go along with his agenda.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

JULY 19, 2011
Guy Benson

Guy Benson  

Bill Clinton: Obama Could Just Ignore Congress and Raise the Debt Ceiling 


Some Democrats have been floating this stylized "constitutional option" for weeks -- even Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has hinted at it -- and now a former president has offered his qualified endorsement.  Clinton's counsel to Obama?  If prospects for a debt limit deal still seem dim as the deadline approaches, act unilaterally, and let the courts sort things out later.  Just do it:

Former President Bill Clinton said he would raise the nation's legal borrowing limit on his own if he had to and "force the courts to stop me" in order to prevent the United States from defaulting on its debt obligations for the first time in history.  Clinton said he thinks President Obama and Republicans on Capitol Hill are going to cut a deal before August 2, "and that's smart."
But "if it came to that," he would raise the debt ceiling using powers granted under the 14th amendment of the Constitution. The amendment says that the validity of the public debt shall not be questioned.  "I think the Constitution is clear and I think this idea that the Congress gets to vote twice on whether to pay for [expenditures] it has appropriated is crazy," Clinton said in aninterview with The National Memo columnist Joe Conason.

The Huffington Post suggests this little scheme would confound Tea Party conservatives, pitting their fealty to the Constitution against their distaste for both President Obama and ever-higher debts:

"The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law... shall not be questioned," reads the 14th Amendment.  By declaring the debt ceiling unconstitutional, the White House could continue to meet its financial obligations, leaving Tea Party-backed Republicans in the difficult position of arguing against the plain wording of the Constitution. Bipartisan negotiators are debating the size of the cuts, now in the trillions, that will come along with raising the debt ceiling.

Not so fast.  Former federal judge and Stanford Law professor Michael McConnell tossed a wet blanket on this theory in an essay published earlier this month:

Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment does not create a back-door method for the Administration to borrow more money without congressional authorization. For Congress to limit the amount of the debt does not “question” the “validity” of the debt that has been “authorized by law.” At most, it means that paying the public debts and pension obligations of the United States, as they become due, has priority over all other spending. Each month, the Treasury takes in about $175 billion in new revenues. These are more than sufficient to pay principal and interest when due, as well as pension obligations. (Social Security, by the way, is not a “pension” obligation within the meaning of this provision. The Supreme Court held in Fleming v. Nestor that Social Security claims are nothing more than promises to pay, not legal obligations to pay.)

It seems highly improbable that the debt dispute would ever come down to this question, but it certainly is refreshing to witness the Left's newfound interest in the "plain wording of the Constitution."