Progressive Law Professor likes Obama’s policy objectives, but considers Obama’s procedures unconstitutional

5 Dec

You can agree, as progressive law professor Jonathan Turley does, with nearly every policy objective of the Obama administration, but be seriously alarmed that President Obama is circumventing the constitution and rule of law. There are many examples, dating back to the free wheeling and unrestricted agency “czar” appointments, but in his House committee testimony (see the CSPAN recording), Turley focuses on five. The one that alarms him most is probably the one that receives the least attention, even from Obama’s conservative critics. That is, reassignment of appropriations by executive decree from one program to another. As Turley explains, many of the other expanding executive powers may be constitutionally excessive, but have often been ignored or excused because Congress has the power of the purse. But this would seriously undermine that power and the entire political system with it. I just want to note, yet again, that the expansive powers of the executive branch did not start with President Obama, though he has taken it to new heights and reaches.  Watch the recommended portions here

I once tweeted (and have written) that the republic would be in peril when nearly everyone ceases to care how or who enacts our laws, but only that our favorite laws are enacted (by somebody, anybody, somewhere, somehow, anyhow, who cares?). To put it another way, our republic can survive bad laws, but not bad procedures.  It will fail not because of poor legislation, but because of indifference to process.  Sadly, we are running full speed in that direction.  Due to partisan polarization and hyper-ideological commitments, few care whether the states or the federal government are the proper jurisdictions for this or that policy area.  Few care whether Congress passes the law or if the President does so through executive decree.  Few care if courts interpret law or make it, so long as our favorite policy outcomes transpire.  Kudos to Professor Turley for standing against that tide.

Another short clip from Turley

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