"Can Obama write his own laws?"
From this excellent essay:
As a reaction to the crack epidemic of the 1980s, many federal drug laws carry strict mandatory sentences. This has stirred unease in Congress and sparked a bipartisan effort to revise and relax some of the more draconian laws.In other words, we have a lawless administration.
Traditionally — meaning before Barack Obama — that’s how laws were changed: We have a problem, we hold hearings, we find some new arrangement ratified by Congress and signed by the president.
That was then. On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder, a liberal in a hurry, ordered all U.S. attorneys to simply stop charging nonviolent, non-gang-related drug defendants with crimes that, while fitting the offense, carry mandatory sentences. Find some lesser, non-triggering charge. How might you do that? Withhold evidence — for example, the amount of dope involved.
In other words, evade the law, by deceiving the court if necessary. “If the companies that I represent in federal criminal cases” did that, said former deputy attorney general George Terwilliger, “they could be charged with a felony.”
But such niceties must not stand in the way of an administration’s agenda. Indeed, the very next day, it was revealed that the administration had unilaterally waived Obamacare’s cap on a patient’s annual out-of-pocket expenses — a one-year exemption for selected health insurers that is nowhere permitted in the law. It was simply decreed by an obscure Labor Department regulation.
Yet this president is not only untroubled by what he’s doing, but open and rather proud. As he tells cheering crowds on his never-ending campaign-style tours: I am going to do X — and I’m not going to wait for Congress.
That’s caudillo talk. That’s banana republic stuff. In this country, the president is required to win the consent of Congress first.
At stake is not some constitutional curlicue. At stake is whether the laws are the law. And whether presidents get to write their own.
Since the essay posted on the web on August 15, the essay has garnered 3797 comments. One of the comments:
1:00 AM EST
President Obama's approach is worse than Charles describes. Legislation is a product of compromise. If President Obama is allowed to continue disregarding laws he doesn't personally agree with, the legislative process is a sham. Legislators can have no confidence that provisions they negotiate for as part of the compromise will be enforced.
Plus, let's not forget that Obamacare was his own legislation, passed only by Democrats, and even then, he's refusing to enforce it!
The only recourse at this point, since Obama's lawlessness is expanding and quickening, is a new judicial interpretation of standing that would give citizens a right to sue for enforcement of the law as written.