When little Jimmy Madison and the boys drafted our constitution, they were keenly aware of the temptations of tyranny, and designed a system of checks and balances, with a 3-way division of power. Congress would pass the laws, the Executive Branch would enforce the laws, and the courts would decide controversies.
The idea that an all-powerful Executive would be able to rule by decree—by administrative fiat—was completely unacceptable to the founding fathers. To prevent such tyranny, Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution clearly 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.”
That was then. This is now. America’s current president, dissatisfied with the lack of progress his radical agenda is making in the national legislature, is starting to remake the country into a fascist state, by ruling by administrative decree. He will institute laws of which he approves, and order his subordinates to ignore laws of which he disapproves. A case in point: illegal immigration.
Back on July 25, President Obama was speaking to the radical La Raza activist organization, when he said that he would like to change immigration laws but that he did not have that power. "I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own... The idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. But that's not how -- that's not how our system works."
THE PRESIDENT: Now, I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books, but that doesn't mean I don't know very well the real pain and heartbreak that deportations cause. I share your concerns and I understand them. And I promise you, we are responding to your concerns and working every day to make sure we are enforcing flawed laws in the most humane and best possible way. Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. (Applause.) And believe me, right now dealing with Congress --
AUDIENCE: Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can!
THE PRESIDENT: Believe me -- believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting.
I promise you. Not just on immigration reform.
But that's not how -- that's not how our system works.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Change it!
Last week, President Barack Obama took the law into his own hands and halted deportation proceedings of illegal aliens; ordering the Executive Branch of government to ignore the laws passed by the elected representatives of the people. He changed the laws on his own.
The Homeland Security Department said Thursday it will halt deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria such as attending school, having family in the military or are primarily responsible for other family members’ care. In the letters to Congress, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said her department and the Justice Department will review all ongoing cases and see who meets the new criteria. With the stroke of his pen, President Obama has granted amnesty to approximately 12 million illegal aliens; contrary to the express orders from congress and the wishes of the American people.
Perceptive observers have long predicted that Obama would eventually give up on the legislative process and begin ruling by decree. More than a year ago, the New York Times reported: “With much of his legislative agenda stalled in Congress, President Obama and his team are preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities.”
Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions).