Like King James II, the president decides not to enforce laws he doesn’t like. That’s an abuse of power.
By MICHAEL W. MCCONNELL
President Obama’s decision last week to suspend the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act may be welcome relief to businesses affected by this provision, but it raises grave concerns about his understanding of the role of the executive in our system of government.
Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution states that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This is a duty, not a discretionary power. While the president does have substantial discretion about how to enforce a law, he has no discretion about whether to do so.
This matter—the limits of executive power—has deep historical roots. During the period of royal absolutism, English monarchs asserted a right to dispense with parliamentary statutes they disliked. King James II’s use of the prerogative was a key grievance that lead to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The very first provision of the English Bill of Rights of 1689—the most important precursor to the U.S. Constitution—declared that “the pretended power of suspending of laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, without consent of parliament, is illegal.”
To make sure that American presidents could not resurrect a similar prerogative, the Framers of the Constitution made the faithful enforcement of the law a constitutional duty.
The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which advises the president on legal and constitutional issues, has repeatedly opined that the president may decline to enforce laws he believes are unconstitutional. But these opinions have always insisted that the president has no authority, as one such memo put it in 1990, to “refuse to enforce a statute he opposes for policy reasons.”
Attorneys general under Presidents Carter, Reagan, both Bushes and Clinton all agreed on this point. With the exception of Richard Nixon, whose refusals to spend money appropriated by Congress were struck down by the courts, no prior president has claimed the power to negate a law that is concededly constitutional.
In 1998, the Supreme Court struck down a congressional grant of line-item veto authority to the president to cancel spending items in appropriations. The reason? The only constitutional power the president has to suspend or repeal statutes is to veto a bill or propose new legislation. Writing for the court in Clinton v. City of New York, Justice John Paul Stevens noted: “There is no provision in the Constitution that authorizes the president to enact, to amend, or to repeal statutes.”
The employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act contains no provision allowing the president to suspend, delay or repeal it. Section 1513(d) states in no uncertain terms that “The amendments made by this section shall apply to months beginning after December 31, 2013.” Imagine the outcry if Mitt Romney had been elected president and simply refused to enforce the whole of ObamaCare.
This is not the first time Mr. Obama has suspended the operation of statutes by executive decree, but it is the most barefaced. In June of last year, for example, the administration stopped initiating deportation proceedings against some 800,000 illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. before age 16, lived here at least five years, and met a variety of other criteria. This was after Congress refused to enact the Dream Act, which would have allowed these individuals to stay in accordance with these conditions. Earlier in 2012, the president effectively replaced congressional requirements governing state compliance under the No Child Left Behind Act with new ones crafted by his administration.
The president defended his suspension of the immigration laws as an exercise of prosecutorial discretion. He defended his amending of No Child Left Behind as an exercise of authority in the statute to waive certain requirements. The administration has yet to offer a legal justification for last week’s suspension of the employer mandate.
Republican opponents of ObamaCare might say that the suspension of the employer mandate is such good policy that there’s no need to worry about constitutionality. But if the president can dispense with laws, and parts of laws, when he disagrees with them, the implications for constitutional government are dire.
Democrats too may acquiesce in Mr. Obama’s action, as they have his other aggressive assertions of executive power. Yet what will they say when a Republican president decides that the tax rate on capital gains is a drag on economic growth and instructs the IRS not to enforce it?
And what of immigration reform? Why bother debating the details of a compromise if future presidents will feel free to disregard those parts of the statute that they don’t like?
The courts cannot be counted on to intervene in cases like this. As the Supreme Court recently held in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the same-sex marriage case involving California’s Proposition 8, private citizens do not have standing in court to challenge the executive’s refusal to enforce laws, unless they have a personal stake in the matter. If a president declines to enforce tax laws, immigration laws, or restrictions on spending—to name a few plausible examples—it is very likely that no one will have standing to sue.
Of all the stretches of executive power Americans have seen in the past few years, the president’s unilateral suspension of statutes may have the most disturbing long-term effects. As the Supreme Court said long ago (Kendall v. United States, 1838), allowing the president to refuse to enforce statutes passed by Congress “would be clothing the president with a power to control the legislation of congress, and paralyze the administration of justice.”
Mr. McConnell, a former judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, is a professor of law and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
A version of this article appeared July 9, 2013, on page A13 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Obama Suspends the Law.
June 6, 2013 By Greg Richards
In testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee Monday, we heard from Alexis de Toqueville’s “little battalions” of social relationships, political pedagogy, and cultural argument — i.e., the soul of American civic society. These are the ones who were abused by the IRS in being denied timely consideration of their applications for tax-exempt status to put them on a level playing field with the forces of the left. And shocking testimony it was, well worth watching on C-SPAN (www.c-span.org, then look for “Conservative Groups Testify on IRS Scrutiny”).
In an essay three days ago in American Thinker, Herbert E. Meyer (who, as vice chairman for National Intelligence Estimates at the CIA, in the face of overwhelming conventional wisdom, including from the Agency itself, identified for William Casey and President Reagan that the Soviet Union, far from being a permanent presence on the world scene, was in fact decaying from inside and on the verge of collapse, thus providing the basis for Reagan’s strategy to win the Cold War) suggested that there would never be a smoking gun in the IRS conspiracy because (a) it is not necessary and (b) that is not the way things work at the top. The leftists are all working from the same playbook.
Sander Levin, the ranking Democratic member of House Ways and Means, in what is doubtless his understanding of what went wrong, said in his opening statement, “The handling of these applications was gross mismanagement by the IRS Exempt Organization Division.”
But it wasn’t. It was a well-executed mission.
Remember the status of the Tea Party. It had sprung up spontaneously after Rick Santelli on CNBC struck a nerve by articulating the unfairness of the bailouts by the federal government. The Tea Party had no organization. It had no single leader or leadership structure. And yet it struck the 2010 elections like a tuna hitting a fishing line and returned control of the House to the Republicans.
So when the left in all its components — and remember that there are no stronger advocates of high bureaucratic pay and big government than those who work for it — looked out at the coming landscape for the 2012 election, what was the greatest threat? Another strike at the polls by the Tea Party, which at that time did not show up on conventional measurements of political activity and power.
The Tea Party and its confrères represented a real but unmeasurable threat not just to the Obama administration per se, but to the leftist project in general. It was a new, anti-leftist force that had to be brought under control.
What is the real attitude of the IRS to conservatives? Contempt. Which we saw from both Mr. Shulman and Mr. Miller, former and removed acting commissioners of the IRS, last week.
Question to Douglas Shulman, IRS commissioner for five years until late last year: “It appears you visited the White House 95 times [since increased] during your tenure as IRS Commissioner. What did you do on those visits?”
Mr. Shulman: “Participated in the Easter Egg Roll with my children.”
But if we are not likely to get a smoking gun and if the IRS has a culture of contempt for conservatives, what can we expect to get from these hearings? A lot. Not least the vocabulary to deal with the crisis.
Targeting of conservative groups and suppressing of conservative participation in the public forum by the IRS…
…is not “a mistake.”
…is not “a failure.”
…is not “due to incompetence.”
…is not “a breakdown.”
Rather, it is a manifestation of the leftist project. A leftist storm has blown through the IRS, and we are seeing in the hearings the debris line left by that storm. But now that the IRS has been infested by the leftist project, cleaning up the debris is not enough.
If conservative cultural and political activity is to continue unmolested in this country, the IRS must be eliminated. It is too disdainful of American mores, and it is too powerful. Neither of those things will change with a new commissioner and whatever is the final disposition of Lois Lerner.
Of course, the nation must have a revenue collection agency. As a first cut, perhaps the new agency would have six regional and independent divisions. They would be located in offices around the country, and there would be no single IRS commissioner in Washington.
The six agency heads would report to Congress every six months on the activities of their agencies on penalty of perjury. There would be new offices of ombudsman for each regional agency. The ombudsmen would testify to Congress along with the agency heads every six months as to the number and type of complaints they had received and what had been the disposition of those complaints.
All salaries in the new six agencies would start at 10% below the equivalent levels in the current IRS. There would be no union in the six agencies, because the agencies must represent the interests of the country and that alone. Something like that.
The current IRS is sick and corrupt. This is what the Democrats, even the ones appalled by the activities just revealed, do not understand. They think this behavior is isolated. It isn’t. It is the leftist project come to fruition, promoting unlimited power for government and brooking no opposition.
The limited government of enumerated powers created by the Founding Fathers and embedded in the Constitution is illegitimate in the eyes of the left. That is why this mission was not “a mistake.”
We must act on this knowledge, or we will be complicit in the dispossession of our liberty. They say about power, “Use it or lose it.” We must act while we still can.
November 5, 2012 By Lee DeCovnick
B.H. Obama has issued 139 executive orders since becoming president. Some are fairly benign; many are deeply troubling, specifically as to the wholesale consolidation of emergency powers into the office of the presidency. The newest executive order is a breathtaking assault on entire sections of Constitution and the rights, freedoms, and liberties of all Americans, carefully hidden within the stultifying and banal language of bureaucratic doublespeak.
On October 26, 2012, eleven days before our national election, with tropical depression Sandy bearing down on thirteen East-Coast states and the Libyan disaster still a smoking morass of obfuscation, cover-ups, and unanswered questions, the White House’s Friday news dump included EO 13629. Titled “Establishing the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council,” this EO should chill the freedom-loving souls of all Americans.
Not surprisingly, the MSM has not mentioned EO 13629 — not anywhere. No mention in the NY Times, the Washington Post, or on any of the alphabet news and cable networks. The blogosphere, liberal and conservative (except Hannity), has had almost no mention of EO 13629. This EO was purposefully buried by the White House and ignored by the alternative press.
Have I got your attention? Then I’ll invite you to leave American Thinker for a couple of minutes and read the EO for yourself (only 1,232 words), and then return here.
All right, show of hands — who almost fell asleep digging through the tons of gravel to find the nasty gems? Yeah, me too. It takes a very close reading of this EO to understand what is actually going on here.
Let’s first look first at paragraph three:
The National Security Strategy emphasizes the importance of partnerships, underscoring that to keep our Nation safe “we must tap the ingenuity outside government through strategic partnerships with the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and community-based organizations. Such partnerships are critical to U.S. success at home and abroad, and we will support them through enhanced opportunities for engagement, coordination, transparency, and information sharing.” This approach recognizes that, given the complexities and range of challenges, we must institutionalize an all-of-Nation effort to address the evolving threats to the United States.
A couple of things stand out. The EO quotes “The National Security Strategy,” an Orwellian document released by the White House in May of 2010 that advocates, in so many words, the end of American sovereignty and the ascendancy of a U.N.-based “transnational government.” It’s most famous line includes “We are now moving beyond traditional distinctions between Homeland and National Security.”
What to make of the line “… we must institutionalize an all-of-Nation effort to address the evolving threats to the United States”? What an eerie phrase: “all-of-Nation.” A Google search shows that phrase was also used in the “National Strategy For Biosurveillance,” a tyrant’s Christmas wish list, that was a July 2012 White House document, and Presidential Policy Directive 8, a FEMA directive on National Preparedness from March of 2011. Odd and troubling coincidences, to say the least.
Bottom line: the National Security Strategy encourages partnerships with non-governmental organizations, foundations, and community-based organizations. Got it.
So what exactly is the EO plan for these partnerships?
There is established a White House Homeland Security Partnership Council (Council) to foster local partnerships — between the Federal Government and the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, community-based organizations, and State, local, tribal, and territorial government and law enforcement — to address homeland security challenges.
The actionable clause: “to address homeland security challenges.” We’ll get to the chest-beating 900-pound gorillas in the room in a moment, but two significant items immediately demand our attention.
Did you notice that “homeland security” was not capitalized? It is usually referred to as the “Department of Homeland Security.” The usage in the EO of homeland as noun, but not a proper noun, is not a mistake. Yellow-highlight that line; we will return to it later. Also, the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are not specified as necessarily being of American origin or even of a pro-American outlook. They could also refer to foreign NGOs, as these are prominent progressive political activist groups that are strongly supported by the American-hating Byzantine bureaucracies of the U.N. and EU.
Let’s move on. Membership of this Council is quite specific and requires a surprisingly narrow skill set:
… the Council shall be composed of Federal officials who are from field offices of the executive departments, agencies, and bureaus (agencies) that are members of the Steering Committee established in subsection (c) of this section, and who have demonstrated an ability to develop, sustain, and institutionalize local partnerships to address policy priorities.
So Council members must come from the field offices of the executive departments and have demonstrated an ability to develop, sustain, and institutionalize local partnerships. Council members, except those whose agency already deals with security issues, evidently are not required to have a background in security, law enforcement, criminal justice, or the judiciary system; all that is required is an ability to develop and institutionalize partnerships. Is the council carefully recruiting government bureaucrats who can train, mold, and imprint a bureaucratic mindset onto these partners for the Council’s purposes? If not, what is meant by “institutionalize”? And why are the recruited members supposed to be selected from “field offices” rather than the usual Potomac swamps?
Closely reading this EO feels like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, blindfolded. Perhaps that was that the intent.
Let’s go on. Okay, these White House Council members are selected by the Steering Committee. Huh? What Steering Committee?
The Steering Committee shall include a representative at the Deputy agency head level, or that representative’s designee, from the following agencies:
(i) Department of State;
(ii) Department of the Treasury;
(iii) Department of Defense;
(iv) Department of Justice;
(v) Department of the Interior;
(vi) Department of Agriculture;
(vii) Department of Commerce;
(viii) Department of Labor;
(ix) Department of Health and Human Services;
(x) Department of Housing and Urban Development;
(xi) Department of Transportation;
(xii) Department of Energy;
(xiii) Department of Education;
(xiv) Department of Veterans Affairs;
(xv) Department of Homeland Security;
(xvi) Office of the Director of National Intelligence;
(xvii) Environmental Protection Agency;
(xviii) Small Business Administration; and
(xix) Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Notice that this Steering Committee and thus the Council has no congressional or judicial representation — i.e., no representation from the other co-equal branches of government. No constitutional checks and balances. The EO sets no term limits, no overview process, and no restraints on policies, authority, and structures. Is it normal for the government to tightly integrate such group into the structure of government itself? Well, yes — on some social and political issues such as voter registration or global warming, as examples. But this EO goes far beyond the accepted governmental role in integrating such organizations because the purpose of this bastardized conglomeration is homeland and national security, not a typical social or political issue. This EO is simply a blank check to build an executive-branch bureaucracy that actually plans to transform and integrate selected extra-governmental NGOs, foundations, and community-based organizations into a robust and unaccountable national security hybrid.
Americans need to be continually vigilant — this EO could swiftly metatasize and do untold damage to our nation and its people. Anyone else think that this EO is flagrantly unconstitutional? It gets worse.
The Council shall be chaired by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism …
That would be John Brennan, a veteran CIA apparatchik, Obama’s loyal terrier, and America’s current “terrorism and drone” czar. Brennan supports reaching out to the “moderate elements” of Hezb’allah and has an exceptionally rocky relationship with the truth and reality in discussing this administration’s Middle East policies.
And more bad news:
At the invitation of the Chair, representatives of agencies not listed in subsection (c) of this section or other executive branch entities may attend and participate in Steering Committee meetings as appropriate.
That is Washington bureaucratese for the Obama czars. So, will the Steering Committee be well-represented with Obama’s hand-picked czars? Why not? No one will be looking.
Finally, what is the stated mission of the Council?
… advise the Chair and Steering Committee members on priorities, challenges, and opportunities for local partnerships to support homeland security priorities, as well as regularly report to the Steering Committee on the Council’s efforts …
And what are the homeland security priorities this Administration seeks to implement? In web searches through some nasty swamps, using homeland with a lowercase h, I stumbled on this site. An answer, not surprisingly, was found in a report from a George Soros-supported foundation, the Center for American Progress. This all but forgotten February 2008 report, “Homeland Security Policy Priorities for the Next Administration and Congress,” includes this “Key Action” item that was pretty interesting.
Create a civilian homeland security corps.
Finally the penny drops.
We recall this quote from Obama’s July 2, 2008 speech:
We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.
Let’s turn our attention to the pair of 900-pound gorillas sitting in the room, and why they are important.
First, our immediate concern should reflect that this EO’s bastardized security hybrid is hardly unique in modern history. The German Schutzstaffel, the infamous SS, and the Soviet KGB, Committee for State Security, both began as hybrid security organizations. They were deliberately created outside traditional governmental roles, exclusively for the consolidation and implementation of power on behalf of a single individual. We should not forget that Americans and their forefathers have experienced and soundly rejected such authoritarian abuses, such as the Salem witch trials and McCarthyism. But only the naive can believe that such a breakdown could not happen here in 21st-century America.
Second, the list of NGOs, foundations, and community-based organizations ripe for “institutionalization” would likely read like a Democratic who’s-who of hard-left organizations. Is there any doubt that this administration and its czars would seek partnerships with La Raza, ACORN and its renamed offshoots, Move On, PETA, the Center for American Progress, Media Matters, CAIR and other Islamic organizations, the Sierra Club, AFL-CIO, the SEIU, and the AFT and CTA?
As these groups may become institutionalized into a national security hybrid, new orders will come down from the council, and information will flow up to Washington.
The new homeland security corps primary mission would likely become the monitoring and reporting of unacceptable political and social activities — city by city, neighborhood by neighborhood, block by block, house by house.
Could this corps become a latter-day Gestapo, heavily armed with cell-phone technology, linked databases, personal tablets, and bio-identification card readers?
We all can read this EO. Some may have different interpretations of what they have read. Considering the well-established trend of B.H. Obama’s cold disregard of constitutional checks and balances, and both the longstanding desire and a short-term need to create a White House framework for a domestic-security apparatus, EO 13629 may be forever linked in history with such infamous documents such as the Wannsee Protocol and the recently revealed files of the Spanish Inquisition.
What was it about Rand Paul’s filibuster that has captivated conservatives all over the country and reinvigorated their desire to fight for our Constitutional Republic? The irony is that the drone issue was not even one of the most popular issues among many conservatives until last night. I suspect that many conservatives don’t necessarily agree with some of Paul’s assertions about targeting terrorists like Al-Awlaki overseas, although we are all (everyone except for McCain and Graham) concerned about targeting Americans on American soil. Yet he has become an overnight sensation, not just among his core libertarian base, but among the broad conservative movement.
Conservatives have been starving for a fighter; longing for someone who will do something drastic, engage in a media savvy fight against an imperialistic president who has no respect for checks and balances and an invidious disregard for the separation of powers.
We have witnessed this president shred the Constitution and implement his radical agenda by administrative fiat. We the People stand by flummoxed and frustrated at the lack of courage among Republicans to counter the president with anything more magnanimous than a press release. We have seen him abrogate our immigration laws, grant administrative amnesty, and let criminal aliens out of jail. Yet nobody has used their position and identified a point of leverage at which to take a stand and draw extended scrutiny to the issue or any other breach of authority.
Finally, when administration officials began asserting that the president might even have the power to launch drone strikes on American soil, Senator Paul decided he would hold up a major nomination to command the attention of the entire country. Many of us sat back and watched the impassioned speeches from Paul and the stirring words of Ted Cruz. We wondered why we had not witnessed this sort of spirited opposition during Obamacare.
Yet that is exactly the point. Most of these senators are new to Washington. They have charted a new path forward, one that is not paved with backroom deals but with forthright demonstrations of courage and commitment to the principles that buoyed them into office. Instead of cutting a deal to invoke cloture and having Brennan’s nomination sail to confirmation, Paul has united a fractious Republican Party against this – that is everyone except for Obama’s dinner companion Lindsey Graham.
Republicans have repeatedly entreated us to the tired bromide that they only control one-third of one-half….. What these banal bulls of Washington dealmaking don’t understand is that with complete control of the House and a filibuster strength minority in the Senate there is a lot they can do. With the ubiquitous nature of C-Span and social media, Republicans can use critical leverage points to seize on winning issues and put Obama in the defensive position.
That’s why yesterday’s act of cowardice on the CR in the House was so incomprehensible to many conservatives. Even if they planned to ultimately cave on Obamacare to avoid a shutdown three weeks from now, why not initially bring it to the floor under an open rule and debate Obamacare for a few days? Let’s at least draw attention to the injustice of Obamacare at a time when many people are feeling the pain of higher insurance premiums.
We are also told that the juggernaut of a biased media is too powerful to overcome were we to force some sort of a dramatic battle over critical issues, such as Obamacare or illegal immigration. It’s true in fact that the media is incorrigibly in the tank for the left, and there’s nothing we can do about that. But one thing about the media is that they are impressed by a show of force and stimulated by something new and exciting. Rand Paul proved that last night, as even some mainstream media reporters gave him positive coverage.
When the CR comes before the Senate, conservatives should hold it up at least for a day or two to educate the American people on the ramifications of funding Obamacare. When the nomination of the new radical nominee for EPA director comes before the Senate, they should take turns launching filibusters into the night, educating the public on how that agency has cost jobs and raised the cost of living on the working class. They should draw attention to onerous policies like ethanol mandates.
We didn’t send Republicans like Mitch McConnell to Washington to cut backroom deals and to passively and blithely ignore the injustices that are perpetrated by the statist class on a daily basis. Nor did we send Republicans to Washington to echo those injustices, like John McCain and Lindsey Graham do on a daily basis. It’s no coincidence that this effort was initiated by the disciples of Jim DeMint. And with the 2014 election cycle beginning now, it’s incumbent upon all of us to help send reinforcements to the ranks of our fighters.
By JB Williams firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the last four years, the Obama administration has violated nearly every Article of the Obama administration and every Amendment in the Bill of Rights. They have worked to ignite racial tensions, class warfare, religious confrontations and political divisions far worse than those that led to the first American Civil War.
Over 70% of Americans oppose ObamaCare… so of course, Obama rammed ObamaCare through in an unprecedented misuse of executive power that shut out the entire legitimate legislative process, as spineless Republicans sat quietly on their hands watching it all happen. The people said “no more deficit spending…and no more raising the debt ceiling…” so, Obama ignored the debt ceiling and ran up the federal debt by more than 60% in one term.
The ideological divide in America is not only deeper than ever in history, it is now galvanized. With the leftist gun grab underway, the moment when push comes to shove is fast approaching.
Since his second stolen election, Obama and his Marxist minions are doing all they can to ignite civil disobedience from more than half of the nation’s population. But are the new American Marxists pushing for much more than civil disobedience?
As Obama attempts to disarm law-abiding Citizens despite Second Amendment rights, he is arming known terrorists all over the globe. His mindless minions are insulting more than 70% of Americans and threatening to “kick their asses again” on the basis that most Americans still believe in those dusty old concepts recorded in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Lawyers trained not in law or the constitution, but rather in rules of procedure and precedence, by yesterday’s draft-dodgers turned law professors, are telling the American people that the Constitution and Bill of Rights are themselves “unconstitutional.”
Obama wants to control everything down to school lunches, individual medical care, what kind of cars we can drive, who can own a weapon and what kind, attacking cigarette smokers while trying to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, as his fellow Marxists discuss how to “re-educate” Citizens that just don’t want to go along to get along.
If you hadn’t noticed that you woke up in pre-world war Germany yet, it’s only because your city has not yet experienced Obama’s Urban Warfare Training of the US Military. An Obama Justice Department Memo approves the use of Drone Attacks on US Citizens and reports of Military Officers leaving service because they refused to confirm that they will follow orders to fire on US Citizens are increasing.
If Obama really thinks he is going to seize control of citizens’ private 401ks to pay for his international Marxist movement – he is going to need more than a few lawyers and soldiers to do it. Clearly, Obama thinks that HE is the Supreme Law of this Land.
For more than 230 years, Americans have revered the most fundamental protections of freedom and liberty, their Bible, their Constitution and their guns. Under the Obama administration, this is now the new operative definition of “domestic terrorist.” According to Obama’s DOJ, they now have the right to use Drone attacks on these “terrorists” just like the Drone attacks used to kill terrorists in Pakistan.
This is either the strangest set of anti-American coincidences in human history, or something wicked this way comes… Even Father of American Socialism FDR got it right once…
“As a matter of fact and law, the governing rights of the States are all of those which have not been surrendered to the National Government by the Constitution or its amendments.”
Individually, each of these documented events is highly troublesome in the Land of the once Free and Home of the once Brave. But combined, it all adds up to the Obama administration and their Marxist minions working around the clock to shove America into a second Civil War.
Is there any other way to see it?
As Obama and his international leftist friends drive the nation deeper and deeper into economic insanity, trillions of dollars in public debt that American productivity can never pay, a collapse of our entire economy is imminent. It’s just a matter of what day they decide to stop propping it all up with baseless money printed up in the backroom, no more valuable than monopoly money.
How can a nation hooked on adult cartoons and porn, that now tunes into Comedy Central for the latest “news” possibly combat what is clearly happening here?
I believe that a Civil War is coming alright… but this time, it won’t be North vs. South, East vs. West or even Republican vs. Democrat. It won’t be the 99% average Americans vs. the 1% super-rich either, nor will it be white vs. black or Christian vs. atheist. It won’t be Americans against their own military either.
It will be ALL Americans, including their military, against the Marxist anti-Americans destroying America, which means politicians, their lawyers and their leftist minions in the press. I wouldn’t want to be them when they finally succeed in pushing the nation to internal war.
Politicians, their lawyers and their minions in the press are NOT the kind of people that go to war. They are only the kind of people that order other people to war. When “other folks” refuse orders to go to war on their own citizens, their families, their friends, the people issuing those orders will be standing bare naked on the front lines and nobody will be able to save their sorry asses from the wrath of the American people.
Most Americans have never known anything but freedom and liberty. As a result, they take it all for granted on most days. But when threatened, the redneck nature in every American shows up, and redneck is not a region in the country, it’s a bad attitude towards all who would threaten our freedom.
This land is our land… remember?
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me
Every State Constitution begins with words very similar to this –
“That all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; for the advancement of those ends they have at all times, an unalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.” – Tennessee Constitution
The federal constitution, a compact between the states that creates and governs the federal government (not the people) at all times, begins as follows…
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The politicians don’t rule the people, as all power is inherent in the people, not their government.
The US Military has not sworn an allegiance to any politician or political agenda. They are sworn to protect and preserve the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the people of the United States, against all enemies, foreign and domestic – even those who manage to seize control of the people’s White House and attempt to use the power of the people’s resources, against the people.
If Obama and his Marxist friends want a war in American streets, they are going to get one. Sooner or later, the American people will accept Obama’s many invitations to war.
The American people have nothing to fear but fear itself, because if and when American Marxists push this fight into the streets, the enemies of freedom will find themselves greatly outnumbered and ill-prepared for the people they have so foolishly underestimated.
No sane American wants to see our differences settled this way… But as Democrat John F. Kennedy said so well – “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.”
Read this as a warning to all who think they will rob American’s of their individual freedoms and liberties. Don’t misinterpret peaceful patience for cowardice or any form of consent. When the people have had enough, they will put down this evil and make an example of those who have forced this fight upon them.
The people have nothing to fear…. But politicians, lawyers and media minions sure do. They had better come to their senses before it’s too late.
The Constitutional Representative Republic will be defended. Any American blood that is shed in defense of the Republic will be on the hands of those who have forced this war upon the people.
- Leaked Obama drone memos are civil libertarians’ worst nightmare (redalertpolitics.com)
- Napolitano: Obama ‘stealing’ American lives (wnd.com)
- Obama DOJ:We Don’t Need Clear Evidence To Kill Americans With Drones (freedomoutpost.com)
- Drone Strikes, Waterboarding, and Moral Preening (commentarymagazine.com)
- EDITORIAL: Attack of the Obama drones (washingtontimes.com)
By Alan Caruba
Many, if not most, Americans are unaware that the nation is composed of separate republics with their own constitutions. They are, of course, the individual states.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved respectively, or to the people.” – Tenth Amendment
By tying compliance with federal laws and regulation to receiving funds, the states have been coerced to accept programs that limit freedoms enumerated in the Constitution and the passage of Obamacare is but one example. Some twenty states have refused to set up the mandated insurance exchanges. Obamacare grants the government complete control over the provision of medical care that every American has formerly received from the free market health system that it destroyed. It gives the federal government control over our lives in terms of who lives or dies.
As noted on the website of the Tenth Amendment Center: “The Founding Fathers has good reason to pen the Tenth Amendment.”
“The issue of power – and especially the great potential for a power struggle between the federal and the state governments – was extremely important to the America’s founders. They deeply distrusted government power, and their goal was to prevent the growth of the type of government that the British has exercised over the colonies.”
“Adoption of the Constitution of 1787 was opposed by a number of well-known patriots including Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and others. They passionately argued that the Constitution would eventually lead to a strong, centralized state power which would destroy the individual liberty of the People. Many in this movement were given the poorly-named tag ‘Anti-Federalists.’”
“The Tenth Amendment was added to the Constitution of 1787 largely because of the intellectual influence and personal persistence of the Anti-Federalists and their allies.”
Their worst fears are coming true as the nation heads into 2013. In just four years, the Obama administration, through its profligate borrowing and spending, has brought the nation to the brink of financial collapse and, as we have seen, the refusal of the President to negotiate anything than the current Band-Aid to avoid the “fiscal cliff” for another two months, has brought the nation to a point where the collapse of the U.S. dollar is not just imminent, but likely.
When that occurs the individual states may elect to secede in order to avoid having the federal government nationalize their National Guard units or take control of their state police to enforce whatever measures it might take to control the population. Individual state law enforcement authorities in cities and towns would need similar protection. Reportedly, massive amounts of funding have been directed to them to ensure their cooperation.
It would be a means to protect their citizens insofar as state constitutions grant the same rights as found in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. It would not surprise me to see Texas lead the way. Others would follow.
You know things are bad when historians like Arthur Herman, writing on the January 3 Fox News, says that “Washington’s Republicans and Democrats alike have become the toll collectors on the road to serfdom.” Citing recent riots in Argentina, Herman said that “Argentina reveals who really suffers when those who create a nation’s wealth get mugged by those who spend it—as just happened this week in Washington.”
If the private sector manages to rally this year, it may buy some time before the midterm elections in 2014. A letter to the editor in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune summed up the problem neatly. “Let’s look at what we have learned from this election: Twenty-one of 22 incumbent senators were re-elected, and 353 of 373 incumbent members of the House were re-elected. The American people have re-elected 94 percent of the incumbents who were running for re-election to an institution that has an approval rating of about 9 percent. This indicates, as an electorate, we are a nation of idiots. We’re now stuck with the useless, dysfunctional government that we deserve.”
The U.S. Constitution was written in the wake of the failure of the Articles of Confederation, the first attempt to unite the states for the common good of the growing nation. It is the product of some of the finest minds, the most dedicated advocates of liberty, to gather in one place at one time. It is the oldest, living Constitution in the world. It was adopted on September 17, 1787 and ratified in June of 1788.
On December 17, 1791, the first ten amendments—the Bill of Rights—were ratified. It is a list of immunities from interference by the federal government and the fears of the Founders are now being borne out by a government that is too large, borrows and spends too much money, and has departments such as the Homeland Security that threaten the rights of free speech, travel, and other freedoms. Every U.S. citizen is now subject to government surveillance more typical of a totalitarian government than one that respects and protects their personal security and rights.
This is why the United States could find itself in a rebellion that will rival the causes of the Civil War, itself a state’s rights conflict in addition to the issue of slavery that had hung over the Constitution since its ratification; an effort to “kick the can down the road” the Founders agreed to in order to get it ratified.
It is not beyond the imagination that a deliberately created crisis would prompt individual states to withdraw from the Union to protect themselves and their citizens, otherwise known as “the people.”
- Texas Bills Would Nullify NDAA’s Indefinite Detention, TSA’s Intrusive Screening (mb50.wordpress.com)
Posted by William Kennedy
This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. Article VI, US Constitution
Timothy Bloodworth in the State Ratifying Convention of North Carolina stated the consensus of those that opposed the Supremacy Clause when he stated, “It appears to me to sweep off all the Constitutions of the states. It is a total repeal of every act and Constitution of the states. The Judges are sworn to uphold it. It will produce an abolition of the state governments. Its sovereignty absolutely annihilates them.”
So, was Timothy Bloodworth and others who opposed the Constitution and the Supremacy Clause right or were the Federalists?
The major architects of the Constitution and those that led the fight for its adoption laid down what the Supremacy Clause meant in reality at the Ratifying Conventions, by doing so they defended State Sovereignty, and set the stage for the negation of unconstitutional actions.
Alexander Hamilton promised during the New York Ratifying Convention that the, “supreme Legislature has only general powers and the civil and domestic concerns of the people are regulated by the laws of the several States. … If the State governments were to be abolished, the question would wear a different face; but this idea is inadmissible. They are absolutely necessary to the system. Their existence must form a leading principle in the most perfect Constitution we could form.” And later he said, ““I maintain that the word supreme imports no more than this — that the Constitution, and laws made in pursuance thereof, cannot be controlled or defeated by any other law. The acts of the United States, therefore, will be absolutely obligatory as to all the proper objects and powers of the general government…but the laws of Congress are restricted to a certain sphere, and when they depart from this sphere, they are no longer supreme or binding”. And again In Federalist #33: “It will not, I presume, have escaped observation that it expressly confines this supremacy to laws made pursuant to the Constitution….” (Emphasis Added)
Or this from Thomas McKean, at the Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention: “The meaning [of the Supremacy Clause] which appears to be plain and well expressed is simply this, that Congress have the power of making laws upon any subject over which the proposed plan gives them a jurisdiction, and that those laws, thus made in pursuance of the Constitution, shall be binding upon the states”. (Emphasis added)
And from the First North Carolina Ratifying Convention where James Iredell said, “When Congress passes a law consistent with the Constitution; it is to be binding on the people. If Congress, under pretense of executing one power, should, in fact, usurp another, they will violate the Constitution.” (Emphasis added)
James Madison further defended the Supremacy Clause in Federalist #45 by stating, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” (Emphasis added)
Then we have Noah Webster writing as “America” also explaining the Supremacy Clause when he stated, “you know that the powers of the Congress are defined, to extend only to those matters which are in their nature and effects, general. You know, the Congress cannot meddle with the internals police of any State, or abridge its Sovereignty. And you know, at the same time, that in all general concerns, the laws of Congress must be supreme, or they must be nothing.” (Emphasis added)
Repeatedly the Federalist indorsed arguments establishing federal supremacy in the areas that were laid out in the enumerated powers of the Constitution but in doing so, they recognized that in ALL other areas the states were supreme. This is what has come to be known as “dual federalism” or “dual sovereignty” and this is the common thread put forth in defense of the Supremacy Clause. They clearly intended that the states be a check on the general government exceeding its authority.
Thus by their very defense the proponents of the Supremacy Clause they established the concept of Nullification if not the word, that came later with Thomas Jefferson. Because as they the writers and ratifiers repeatedly stated that unconstitutional laws were “no longer supreme or binding” and “Congress cannot meddle with the internal police of any state, or abridge its Sovereignty”, they clearly intended for the states to be a “check” on the general government.
So, if the states where to be a check on the unconstitutional actions how where they to do so?
Well Thomas Jefferson said when writing in the Kentucky Resolves opposing the Alien and Sedition and Acts; “Resolved, that the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government … whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”
And, …”that the general government is the exclusive judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it, stop nothing short of despotism; since the discretion of those who administer the government, and not the constitution, would be the measure of their powers…
That the several states who formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and that a nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under colour (sic) of that instrument, is the rightful remedy.” (Emphasis added)
And what did Madison say when writing the Virginia Act opposing the same Alien and Sedition Acts?
“That this Assembly (Virginia) doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid than they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them. (Emphasis added)
“…That government was an agent. It could not be the judge of its own powers. To allow it to be so would mean nothing less than a government of unlimited power, a tyranny. The partners to the Constitution, the sovereign peoples of the States, were the final judges of what they had intended the Constitution to mean. When the general government exceeded its power it was the right and duty of the State to interpose its authority and defend its people from federal acts of tyranny – yes, to render a federal law inoperative in the State’s jurisdiction…” (Emphasis added)
Clearly, our Founders “are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government”, they established the means for the states to defend themselves and their citizens from a general government that exceeding its authority and that power is NULLIFICATION.
I think the best description of what NULLIFICATION is and is not is found in Nullification: It’s Officialby Derek Sheriff.
“Nullification is not secession or insurrection, but neither is it unconditional or unlimited submission. Nullification is not something that requires any decision, statement or action from any branch of the federal government. Nullification is not the result of obtaining a favorable court ruling. Nullification is not the petitioning of the federal government to start doing or to stop doing anything. Nullification doesn’t depend on any federal law being repealed. Nullification does not require permission from any person or institution outside of one’s own state.
So just what IS “official” nullification you might be asking?
Nullification begins with a decision made in your state legislature to resist a federal law deemed to be unconstitutional. It usually involves a bill, which is passed by both houses and is signed by your governor. In some cases, it might be approved by the voters of your state directly, in a referendum. It may change your state’s statutory law or it might even amend your state constitution. It is a refusal on the part of your state government to cooperate with, or enforce any federal law it deems to be unconstitutional.
Nullification carries with it the force of state law. It cannot be legally repealed by Congress without amending the US Constitution. It cannot be lawfully abolished by an executive order. It cannot be overruled by the Supreme Court. It is the people of a state asserting their constitutional rights by acting as a political society in their highest sovereign capacity. It is the moderate, middle way that wisely avoids harsh remedies like secession on the one hand and slavish, unlimited submission on the other. It is the constitutional remedy for unconstitutional federal laws.”
William Kennedy [send him email] is the State Director for the North Carolina Tenth Amendment Center. A strong supporter of the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights with special emphasis on State Sovereignty protected by the Tenth Amendment.
- The Supremacy Clause (veteran-patriot.com)
- Nullification and Obamacare: rejection of the rule of law (inpropriapersona.com)
- Defending the Supremacy Clause via State Nullification (tenthamendmentcenter.com)
- Refuting Historical Ignorance On Secession & Nullification! (politicalvelcraft.org)
The United States was born when rebellious colonists declared their independence from an imperial ruler who had vastly overstepped his bounds. “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States,” they wrote in their Declaration of Independence.
Today’s presidency lacks the regal air of George III. But imperialism is back, in a big way.
Last week, the Obama Administration’s Department of Homeland Security issued a memorandum instructing U.S. immigration officials to use their “prosecutorial discretion” to create a policy scheme contrary to existing law, designed to implement legislation that Congress hasn’t passed.
The President himself has admitted he doesn’t have the authority to do this. “The idea of doing things on my own is very tempting, I promise you, not just on immigration reform. But that’s not how our system works,” he told Hispanic activists last year. “That’s not how our democracy functions.”
We can now see before us a persistent pattern of disregard for the powers of the legislative branch in favor of administrative decision-making without—and often in spite of—congressional action. This violates the spirit—and potentially the letter—of the Constitution’s separation of the legislative and executive powers of Congress and the President.
- Even though the Democrat-controlled Senate rejected the President’s cap-and-trade plan, his Environmental Protection Agency classified carbon dioxide, the compound that sustains vegetative life, as a pollutant so that it could regulate it under the Clean Air Act.
- After the Employee Free Choice Act—designed to bolster labor unions’ dwindling membership rolls—was defeated by Congress, the National Labor Relations Board announced a rule that would implement “snap elections” for union representation, limiting employers’ abilities to make their case to workers and virtually guaranteeing a higher rate of unionization at the expense of workplace democracy.
- After an Internet regulation proposal failed to make it through Congress, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it would regulate the Web anyway, even despite a federal court’s ruling that it had no authority to do so.
- Although Congress consistently has barred the Department of Education from getting involved in curriculum matters, the Administration has offered waivers for the No Child Left Behind law in exchange for states adopting national education standards, all without congressional authorization.
Likewise, the Administration has often simply refused to enforce laws duly enacted by Congress:
- Since it objects to existing federal immigration laws, the Administration has decided to apply those laws selectively and actively prevent the state (like Arizona) from enforcing those laws themselves.
- Rather than push Congress to repeal federal laws against marijuana use, the Department of Justice (DOJ) simply decided it would no longer enforce those laws.
- DOJ also has announced that it would stop enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act or defending it from legal challenge rather than seeking legislative recourse.
On Tuesday, the President invoked executive privilege to avoid handing over some 1,300 documents in an ongoing Congressional investigation. The Supreme Court has held that executive privilege cannot be invoked to shield wrongdoing. Is that what’s happening in this case? “Congress needs to get to the bottom of that question to prevent an illegal invocation of executive privilege and further abuses of power. That will require an index of the withheld documents and an explanation of why each of them is covered by executive privilege—and more,” Heritage legal scholar Todd Gaziano writes.
Earlier this year the President crossed the threshold of constitutionality when he gave “recess appointments” to four officials who were subject to Senate confirmation, even though the Senate wasn’t in recess. Gaziano wrote at the time that such appointments “would render the Senate’s advice and consent role to normal appointments almost meaningless. It is a grave constitutional wrong.”
There is no telling where such disregard may go next, but the trend is clear, and it leads further and further away from the constitutional rule of law.
The President has unique and powerful responsibilities in our constitutional system as chief executive officer, head of state, and commander in chief. Those powers do not include the authority to make laws or to decide which laws to enforce and which to ignore. The President – like judges or Members of Congress – takes an oath to uphold the Constitution in carrying out the responsibilities of his office.
Indeed, the President takes a unique oath, pledging he “shall faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States” and “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” We don’t need a new Declaration of Independence, but we do need a President who will defend and vigorously exert his or her legitimate powers, recognizing that those powers are not arbitrary or unlimited.
Dr. Matthew Spalding is the Vice President for American Studies and Director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at The Heritage Foundation. He is also the author of We Still Hold These Truths.
- Fast And Furious: Executive Privilege Is Illegitimate to Shield Wrongdoing (heritage.org)
- NAPOLITANO: Can Obama rewrite federal law? – Washington Times (gds44.wordpress.com)
- Cagle Post ” It’s Nice to be Emperor (mbcalyn.com)
- Obama’s policy strategy: Ignore laws (givemeliberty01.wordpress.com)
- Obama’s Assertion Of Executive Privilege And The Law (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Fast and Furious: Covering up the Death of a U.S. Agent (papundits.wordpress.com)
- King Barack (lewrockwell.com)