Obama: Rule of Law, Due Process, Constitutional Fidelity, and Separation of Powers ‘Sets Our Country Back’Posted: June 23, 2016
President Obama said Thursday that the Supreme Court’s 4-4 decision that will block his 2014 executive actions on immigration “sets our country back,” and is “heartbreaking” for the millions of illegal immigrants still in the country.
“Today’s decision is frustrating to those who seek to grow our economy and bring a rationality to our immigration system, and to allow people to come out of the shadows,” he said at the White House.
The 4-4 tie left in place a lower court ruling that found against Obama’s actions. But Obama cast the ruling as one that showed the Supreme Court was “unable to reach a decision,” and argued that it’s more evidence that the Senate needs to consider his nominee for the high court, Merrick Garland, so that the court cannot deadlock again.
“This is part of the consequence of the Republican failure so far to give a hearing to Mr. Merrick Garland,” Obama said.
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The findings stand in stark contrast to liberal calls on Obama to reduce deportations.
Matthew Boyle reports: Fully 98 percent of individuals deported from the United States in 2013 were either criminals, apprehended while illegally crossing the border, or had been previously deported, according to a new analysis from Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).
“This is part of a repeated pattern of overreach on the part of the Administration and shows their unwillingness to follow the law as it is written…It’s impossible for Congress to have an open and honest debate on border security when we can’t trust the President to do his job.”
— Rep. John Culberson
The three-page document, labeled a “Critical Alert” by the senator’s office, found three executive actions by President Barack Obama providing amnesty to groups of illegal aliens meant that virtually no one who did not meet other criteria beyond simply being in the country illegal was deported.
“The evidence reveals that the Administration has carried out a dramatic nullification of federal law,” Sessions said in a statement to Breitbart News. “Under the guise of setting ‘priorities’, the Administration has determined that almost anyone in the world who can enter the United States is free to illegally live, work and claim benefits here as long as they are not caught committing a felony or other serious crime.
“This is another clear warning to anyone who thinks immigration reform is possible under President Obama.”
— John Fleming (R-LA)
Obama’s well-known executive action granted virtual amnesty to so-called DREAMers – individuals who claim to have entered the country as minors under their parents’ guidance.
“You can have executive orders that implement already existing laws, but what Obama has done in the DREAM Act . . . is unbelievably unconstitutional,” Charles Krauthammer said on Special Report last night.
“He’s done that over and over again on immigration, drug laws, climate change, and, of course, on Obamacare, which he has unilaterally altered lawlessly at least 15 times”
While Republicans met today at a retreat in Maryland and debated immigration reform — with many worrying that, no matter what Republicans pass, President Obama will not enforce it faithfully — Krauthammer looked back on the times the president has failed to faithfully uphold the law.
An Outbreak of Lawlessness
Reid and Obama have their way with the rules
For all the gnashing of teeth over the lack of comity and civility in Washington, the real problem is not etiquette but the breakdown of constitutional norms.
Such as the one just spectacularly blown up in the Senate. To get three judges onto a coveted circuit court, frustrated Democrats abolished the filibuster for executive appointments and (non–Supreme Court) judicial nominations.
The problem is not the change itself. It’s fine that a president staffing his administration should need 51 votes rather than 60. Doing so for judicial appointments, which are for life, is a bit dicier. Nonetheless, for about 200 years the filibuster was nearly unknown in blocking judicial nominees. So we are really just returning to an earlier norm.
The violence to constitutional norms here consisted in how that change was executed. By brute force — a near party-line vote of 52-48. This was a disgraceful violation of more than two centuries of precedent. If a bare majority can change the fundamental rules that govern an institution, then there are no rules. Senate rules today are whatever the majority decides they are that morning.