WSJ: King Obama Suspends The Law

Michael McConnell notes that (NMP) Obama is acting more like an English king of old

(Wall Street Journal) 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.

This is in terms, obviously, of Obama deciding he would suspend the employer mandate until January 1, 2015 despite the text of Obamacare stating that it must be enforced starting 1/1/2014. A president can, per the DOJ, decline to enforce laws he/she thinks are unconstitutional (which has never been tested in court), but cannot simply decline to enforce laws in the way they are written. POTUS cannot simply change the law.

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.

Imagine if this was George W. Bush doing this, or a President McCain or Romney…

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?

McConnell goes on to mention, regarding “immigration reform”, what’s the point when POTUS (specifically Obama) could arbitrarily decide not to bother enforcing parts of the law he hates, something many pundits, including myself, have noted after Obama decided to un-Constitutionally decided to suspend the employer mandate.

It’s rather serendipitous that Obama would decide to ignore the law so near Independence Day.

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