At one point in time, our country had three, co-equal branches of government. Lately, it appears the legislative and judiciary branches are more of a tool for the executive branch to use when it fits their agenda, or toss aside when it doesn’t suit them.
Take for instance the recent ruling the D.C. Court of Appeals made on Obama’s illegal National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) appointments. In this case, Obama has run roughshod over two branches of government. First, over the legislature when he violated the constitution making recess appointments when the Senate was not actually in recess.
Then, after the court unanimously ruled against the appointments, Jay Carney, Obama’s Press Secretary, bluntly stated the ruling was, “Novel and unprecedented” and went on to say, “This court decision does not affect this operation, their ability to function.” In short, we’re going to keep doing what we want to do.
Buoyed by the administration’s response, the NLRB had similar words:
The Board respectfully disagrees with today’s decision and believes that the President’s position in the matter will ultimately be upheld. It should be noted that this order applies to only one specific case, Noel Canning, and that similar questions have been raised in more than a dozen cases pending in other courts of appeals. In the meantime, the Board has important work to do. The parties who come to us seek and expect careful consideration and resolution of their cases, and for that reason, we will continue to perform our statutory duties and issue decisions.
These types of power grabs have worked to embolden other federal agencies as well. Two weeks ago, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a mandate from the EPA forcing refiners to purchase and mix 8.65 million gallons of biofuel (ethanol) into their products or face a large fine. The problem — there is nowhere near 8.65 million gallons of biofuel available for refiners to buy.
Using logic, the court said you can’t mandate someone to buy something that doesn’t exist. That ruling hasn’t fazed the EPA however. In fact, rather than obey the ruling, they doubled down, announcing last week they will actually be increasing the mandate from 8.65 million gallons to 14 million.
Obama and his agencies are not just dismissing Appellate Court rulings either, they ignore the Supreme Court as well. In March 2012, Eric Holder of the Department of Justice (DOJ) barred Texas’ voter ID law from taking effect. He determined the law violated the Voting Rights Act despite the fact that in 2008’s case, Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, the Supreme Court ruled that requiring voters to obtain picture ID did not present an unfair or undue burden to voters.
Of course in the Obama administration, what’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander. Prior to the 2012 presidential election, Ohio passed a law enabling early voting for military and overseas voters. Obama, believing it was unfair to not allow everyone access to early voting, took it to court. The court sided with the Obama administration.
When Ohio took a page from the president’s playbook, refusing to comply with a court order, Obama sprang into action. This time Obama decided court rulings are actually something that should be followed and filed a motion to the court to force Ohio to follow the court ruling and allow early voting.
In addition to all of this, the Obama administration has vocally determined it will not enforce existing laws of the land. This includes immigration enforcement and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Whether you agree with the Obama administration’s position on these matters or not, the methods they are using to enact their agenda should send a chill through us all. The Founders sought to divide the powers of government for a reason. If the powers of the legislative and judiciary branches can be used as a hammer then tossed aside whenever it is inconvenient for the executive branch, we essentially have the illusion of checks and balances with a king at the helm.
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- Obama: ‘I Am Not a King’ (breitbart.com)
- NLRB Ruling Expected to Impact Consumer Bureau Appointee, Former White House Counsel Says (cnsnews.com)
- BOOM! D.C. Court of Appeals puts Obama in his place on recess appointments (thebrennerbrief.com)
- Wicker Applauds Court Ruling Against President Obama’s Power Grab (claycountymsgop.com)
- NLRB Recess Appointments Held Unconstitutional- NLRB EFFECTIVELY SHUT DOWN (laborandemploymentlawupdate.com)
- Judges Flout Decades Of Presidential Tradition In Obama Smackdown (huffingtonpost.com)
- KING: The Constitution always trumps politics (washingtontimes.com)
- What “Invalid” NLRB Means for Employers (hrlawblog.wordpress.com)