Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Professors Deconstruct Obama’s Muscular Presidency
Accuracy in Academia ^ | May 13, 2014 | Spencer Irvine

Posted on 05/14/2014 7:02:13 AM PDT by Academiadotorg

Law professors Jonathan Turley of George Washington University and Nicholas Rosenkranz of Georgetown slammed President Obama’s “muscular presidency” as dangerously unconstitutional. The Federalist Society hosted these speakers in a panel discussion entitled, “Suspension of Laws: What are the Limits of Executive Authority?” jonathan turley

Turley said that President Obama has completely ignored and “circumvented” Congress. After all of Obama’s rhetoric, speeches and subsequent actions, Turley said, “The irony is that he didn’t have to circumvent Congress” to achieve his own goals. As a law professor at George Washington, he could only say, “I’m left scratching my head” in trying to understand Obama’s vision of the presidency. He said, “It’s not that we [haven’t had] circumvention of Congress in the past, [but] it has been accelerating under this president.”

Turley noted that in the last State of the Union address, “President Obama went to Congress and said he intended to circumvent Congress and to act alone in areas where Congress has either blocked him or failed to act.” Turley was shocked by the response by sitting congressional members to Obama’s statement. He continued, “Now that alone was quite surprising, but what was more surprising, [the] rapturous applause [he got]. I look at this body, of both houses, applauding a president who just said he would circumvent them and would act unilaterally…it bordered on self-loathing.” This “self-loathing” and “rapturous applause” by Congress was, as Turley said, “Something the framers wouldn’t have anticipated.”

He worried, “Our system is changing in a very fundamental way, and in my view, is a very dangerous way.” Turley compared the three branches of government, judicial, legislative and executive branches, as ones “held together in a type of orbit…they check each other and create stability through that check and balance system and separation of power.” Today, under Obama, “the executive branch has …aggregated power to the point that it has created instability” in the country. As a result, these actions “can create instability in society” as a whole and Turley said, “That was never what the framers envisioned.” Now, Americans are seeing “the shift of power to federal agencies, which are now exercising judicial and executive power” and a disregard for the long-held belief in separation of powers.

“I have never said that President Obama is a dictator,” said Turley, “but I do believe that what he is doing through circumvention of Congress…he is becoming a government unto himself.” Even as a supporter of his policies, Turley warned, “Once this space expands, the gas will fill it equally” and Obama’s supporters “will rue the day that they remained silent in the face of change in this system.” Why? Turley pointed out, “The next president can do the same” and expand his presidential and executive powers. Then, “it will be hard for people to reject, who were silent today.” It would, he argued, be the “height of hypocrisy.”

During Obama’s terms as president, Turley found, “The most significant…involved changes that were rejected by Congress…and the president responded by carrying out the same decisions or policies under his unilateral authority.” One such example: President Obama’s executive orders implementing the DREAM Act that a Democratic Congress would not pass, the act which gives free college tuition to illegal immigrants.

Rosenkranz said, “Congress repeatedly declines to pass it [the DREAM Act]” and yet, Obama will “behave as if it were [passed].” Some defend Obama and say that he is trying to conserve executive resources, but Rosenkranz said, “In this case, it is quite clear that he is not trying” to do so. For example, “it is free for the federal government” to enforce immigration law. However, Obama went ahead and “exempted millions of people from the immigration law.” In his opinion, “This exemption has a distinctly legislative character” and is “a blanket policy [affecting] 1.67 million people.”

Additionally, Turley said, “The power of the purse has become almost an urban legend or almost a constitutional legend” under Obama. “There’s so much money sloshing around in the executive branch that Congress has lost the power of the purse,” he said. With ObamaCare, Turley said, “[Obama] took $454 million from a dedicated purpose and shifted it over on his own purpose.” With Libya, “Not only did President Obama say that he alone defines what a war is, there was no room for the court, no room for Congress, as long as he didn’t call it a war, it would not trigger the Constitution, but was really unsettling that he funded that war entirely out of discretionary funds. He actually carried out a war without having to go to Congress at all.”

He tempered his criticism slightly when he stated, “It is not even about President Obama; it’s about our constitutional system… [because] this system is changing so fast and so significantly that I don’t know what system we’re left with.” Turley feared that Obama has created a top-down executive government model, in which “that system will be insulated” from popular opinion, also known as Congress. “Congress, with all its faults, is the thumping heart of the Madisonian system,” said Turley. Now Obama has created “the very danger that we hoped to avoid.”

Turley said, “There’s a reason why we’re not getting things done…we’re divided, we’re a divided nation, and Congress looks exactly like the nation.” He defended the role and makeup of Congress because “that’s what Congress is supposed to be; it’s supposed to be a reflection of the public. So what you’re saying is that you want to circumvent” the public. Turley pointed out, “The reason why the President is circumventing Congress is because Congress is divided and cannot get anything done.” He warned Obama’s supporters, “When you argue for a muscular presidency…you have to take note of what that means.”

Based on Obama’s actions, Turley mentioned, “Now, that’s a muscular presidency, it is not the presidency that’s a part of this Constitution.” Today, “there really isn’t a pushback” from Congress because Obama has made the legislative body “a non-entity.” Turley is alarmed by the drone strikes targeting American citizens suspected of terrorist activities abroad. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at Turley’s alma mater, the University of Chicago, and in Turley’s words, discussed why the government should “vaporize a couple [of] Americans.” He went on to say, “President Obama went further and created a system by which Americans could be taken out by his sole discretion” and without a trial. Turley said, “The president is now asserting the right to kill any one of you by his authority…without a charge…and the result was applause.”

Turley could only wonder, “We are really living in a parallel universe where the president is claiming the right to kill American civilians” and people are applauding his unilateral actions.

Some argue that the Founders [or as he called them, the Framers] did not write the Constitution during poisonous times. Turley responded and said, “This Constitution was written during poisonous political times.” The Founders “didn’t like wars…they didn’t like executives getting us into wars.” Yet, “Look what happened in Libya…we must be reading different works” if you think the Founders would approve of an intervention in Libya.

Rosenkranz added to Turley’s point, using ObamaCare, immigration reform and the IRS targeting scandal as examples of extra-constitutional acts. Calling himself a “textualist,” he focused on the wording of the Constitution. From the Constitution, Rosenkranz read the phrase, “The president shall take care that these laws will be faithfully executed.” He pointed out that the phrase, “’shall take care’…is not optional, this is mandatory.” In his words, “Other folks will do the actual executing, but his duty to take care of the executing of the laws.” Also, “The president does have power to make enforcement choices; However, he has to make them faithfully.”

He gave a background on the reason behind this clause, “English kings had taken power to suspend the law unilaterally. The Framers expressly rejected that practice. That’s what this clause is doing here.”

Rosenkranz, referring to ObamaCare, said that one of the delays of the law’s implementation came via a blog post in July 2013. “I have lost track, the president has suspended or modified Obamacare some, is it 36 times by now, I’ve lost track.” The delays go against the law’s statutes, which he believed “is perfectly clear.”

Even after he said, “Sometimes Congress leaves gaps,” Rosenkranz affirmed, “This is not such a case. The date is crystal clear: January 1, 2014. It could not be more explicit, it could not be so clear, you don’t need a lawyer to know what this means.” Rosenkranz said, “What you have is Obamacare: it is crystal clear and it tells you when it will be implemented.”

Yet, the blog post “makes no mention of this statutory effort” and to him, “the blog post raises the question of what ‘faithfully’ means.” Rosenkranz, referring to the delays, said, “This is wholesale suspension of a law” and the President “simply cannot mean to decline to execute the law at all.”

He found Obama’s comments on the delays “particularly troubling.” On August 19, 2013, Obama sought “a change in the law” and said, “He would prefer” some changes. Rosenkranz pointed out that President Obama said he would prefer to pick up the phone and call House Speaker John Boehner to change the law. “The climate was so toxic,” said Rosenkranz, but “the truth though, the President knows it, he wouldn’t even have to pick up the phone.” The House had several bills on the floor, one that would delay the employer mandate and another would delay the individual mandate. Obama “didn’t actually support the bill[s], to the contrary, he actually threatened to veto it.”

Rosenkranz warned, “This is, it’s really almost…the President actually seeming to prefer flouting the law as written, rather than supporting a statutory change that would achieve his desired results. This [seems more of] a willful violation of the [take care] clause.”

And, Rosenkranz added, “this act was enacted years ago…literally, years of leave time, we couldn’t get our act together.” He felt that the failures are “a bit of an indictment of the law itself.” As he said before, “Congress was prepared to amend this law. The President could have [amended it].” “There should’ve been a legislative change [but Obama] actually threatened to veto it.” When asked by an audience member about why Obama would not sign any House bill to delay ObamaCare, he said:

“The explicit reason, or purported reason, is it’s unnecessary. The actual reason, was that it was politically awkward. The reason why it was politically awkward: the house passed two things…one suspended the employer mandate… other one would’ve suspended the individual mandate.”

In other terms, “So signing one and vetoing the other” would’ve placed Obama in a “politically awkward” position.

The IRS targeting scandal is “an example that would horrify them [the Founders] even more: which is to declining to execute laws against his political friends only against his political adversaries.”

President Obama “is trying to distance himself from the scandal” surrounding the IRS and targeting conservative groups. However, the “take care” clause is a “personal” responsibility for the president to oversee all parts of the executive branch.

Rosenkranz said, “What the President knew and when he knew it, is a certain sense, is beside the point. The point is, he should have known, he should have known it, [it] won’t do that the President erroneously said the IRS was an ‘independent agency’ nor will it do for him that he” found out via news reports like everyone else. “Not knowing what an executive agency is up to, let alone with not knowing that the IRS is a part of the executive branch…” is not encouraging, he said.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: constitution; constitutioncrisis; dream; irs; nsa; obamacare; turley

1 posted on 05/14/2014 7:02:13 AM PDT by Academiadotorg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg
Yeah..."muscular." Right.





















And by "muscular" I mean "illegal" and "unconstitutional"...
2 posted on 05/14/2014 7:04:33 AM PDT by Milton Miteybad (I am Jim Thompson. {Really.})
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg

Professors Deconstruct Obama’s Muscular Presidency

Say what? Muscular? They must be talking about Mobama.


3 posted on 05/14/2014 7:07:40 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg

Here’s my summation of this article:

We’re screwed!

I think most of us have known this for several years now.


4 posted on 05/14/2014 7:09:25 AM PDT by basil (2ASisters.org)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

Hey....that’s just wrong. It’s mean to Photoshop people’s faces.


5 posted on 05/14/2014 7:10:32 AM PDT by Lee'sGhost ("Just look at the flowers, Lizzie. Just look at the flowers.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg

...these actions “can create instability in society” as a whole
...shift of power to federal agencies, which are now exercising judicial and executive power
...a disregard for the long-held belief in separation of powers
...he is becoming a government unto himself
...Congress repeatedly declines to pass the DREAM Act, but Obama “behaves as if it were [passed].”
...[Obama] took $454 million from a dedicated purpose and shifted it over on his own purpose.
...Obama alone defines what a war is [Libya]; there was no room for the court, no room for Congress, as long as he didn’t call it a war

But do not be alarmed, readers: Turley says “I have never said that President Obama is a dictator.”


6 posted on 05/14/2014 7:12:18 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

“The measure of a man is what he does with power.”

~Plato




help support the most conservative online site
click the pic


7 posted on 05/14/2014 7:14:07 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom

I say that every day. Obama is a classic African despot, a marxist, muslim, homosexual dictator.

Now everyone repeat after me...


8 posted on 05/14/2014 7:23:46 AM PDT by the anti-mahdi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

No, they mean “sphincter muscle”


9 posted on 05/14/2014 7:25:04 AM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom

ObaMao is “muscular” here in the US where so very few are willing to stand up to him. On the broader world stage, he is, however, a laugingstock.


10 posted on 05/14/2014 7:28:37 AM PDT by Emmett McCarthy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg

“Muscular Presidency”= Dictatorship


11 posted on 05/14/2014 7:28:51 AM PDT by txrefugee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Excellence

Bfl


12 posted on 05/14/2014 7:32:38 AM PDT by Excellence (Marine mom since April 11, 2014)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Milton Miteybad

Anyone have that picture of him trying to throw a baseball?


13 posted on 05/14/2014 7:34:25 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg

Can you imagine how much the Clintons are salivating at the prospect of owning and operating a Presidency that no longer has to obey the Constitution and the law?


14 posted on 05/14/2014 7:37:38 AM PDT by I am Richard Brandon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg

He does what he wants. Very little opposition to him. He has the media, a bunch of cowards in congress on the right, treason swinging tree monkeys in congress on the left. An amen corner at the AG office. A back stabbing bastard in the Supreme Court.
He rigs elections like a soviet KGB General, crumbled a great military, all but destroyed our currency and is enslaving a generations desire to go to work an get ahead
I’m sure I missed some. This has all been done with great speed and I’m sure there is more in store for us.


15 posted on 05/14/2014 7:53:08 AM PDT by reefdiver (Be the Best you can be Whatever you Dream to be)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg

“Our government teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”

— Louis D. Brandeis


16 posted on 05/14/2014 7:54:45 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg

The more I find out about Barry and his associates, the more I fear for America.

And why is it taboo to discuss Valerie Jarrett in most news forums?
Many times I’ve tried to share info about her on different news forums only to have my comments deleted.


17 posted on 05/14/2014 7:55:35 AM PDT by JWC 1965
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: basil

Eerie out there. Period. There are too few of “us” left to stop anything, nevermind reverse it.

I want any candidate of mine to campaign on reversal and restoration, but to do that he would have to use the same methods Obama used that I deplore to have a prayer, just as Turley suggested.


18 posted on 05/14/2014 8:24:07 AM PDT by RitaOK ( VIVA CHRISTO REY / Public education is the farm team for more Marxists coming.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg
It would, he argued, be the “height of hypocrisy.”

This has never stopped a liberal, not once, not even a little bit.

19 posted on 05/14/2014 8:34:55 AM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The_Reader_David; lady lawyer

ping


20 posted on 05/14/2014 8:40:44 AM PDT by Albion Wilde ("The commenters are plenty but the thinkers are few." -- Walid Shoebat)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg
Obama can get away with it because the Democrats in Congress applaud him, and the press either applauds his actions or keeps silent about them. We've had a two-party system almost continuously since the 1790s but usually the ideological discipline has not been as strong as it is now.

Democrats seem to think that all future Presidents will be Democrats. They are trying to make sure of that with amnesty.

21 posted on 05/14/2014 8:56:36 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg
“The irony is that he didn’t have to circumvent Congress” to achieve his own goals.

Really Turley? You honestly believe that Mr. Turley? Turley is a liar; he truly p*sses me off. This intellectual Marxist is a fraud.

I would love to debate this clown.

He speaks of all these bromides about the Constitution but he is a lying fraud. This Mr Turley states that he reveres the Constitution.

If Mr Turley had any respect at all for the Constitution he would be demanding the impeachment and removal of Obama.

Since he doesn't he should be mocked and scorned..

22 posted on 05/14/2014 9:24:49 AM PDT by sand88 (We can never legislate our way back to Liberty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg

Dangerously unconstitutional for the last five years guess how bad it will get in the next three democrats will not give up their agenda.


23 posted on 05/14/2014 10:07:53 AM PDT by Vaduz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg
Then, “it will be hard for people to reject, who were silent today.” It would, he argued, be the “height of hypocrisy.”

Um...these are Democrats you are talking about. They hit new heights of hypocrisy three times a week, already - they will have no problem turing on a dime and blasting the "Imperial Presidency of Jeb Bush" with abandon.

24 posted on 05/14/2014 10:13:43 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ([CTRL-GALT-DELETE])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: the anti-mahdi

>> classic African despot

That nails it.


25 posted on 05/14/2014 10:54:35 AM PDT by Ray76 (True change requires true change - A Second Party)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: sand88
What he meant was Bambi could have gotten much of his program through Congress if he wanted. With Congress applauding his State of the Union takeover speech it is no wonder he doesn't care.
BTW Turley is one big time lefty. If he is critical, and he is, that is a crack in the liberal armor. In fact if you read between the lines he is raking Bambi over the coals.
With liberals it is like understanding anything that comes out of Red China of Russia. There are many levels of meaning that need to be understood when they talk.
26 posted on 05/14/2014 10:59:20 AM PDT by prof.h.mandingo (Buck v. Bell (1927) An idea whose time has come (for extreme liberalism))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Academiadotorg

“”Some argue that the Founders [or as he called them, the Framers] did not write the Constitution during poisonous times. Turley responded and said, “This Constitution was written during poisonous political times.” The Founders “didn’t like wars…they didn’t like executives getting us into wars.” Yet, “Look what happened in Libya…we must be reading different works” if you think the Founders would approve of an intervention in Libya””

The afounders were smart enough to not be compelled to be drafted to the. british even if some of them were of British origin, and same with the Dutch etc...

No, we have an emotional and muslim black retarded version of La Causa Nostra for Sicilly


27 posted on 05/14/2014 12:55:55 PM PDT by lavaroise (A well regulated gun being necessary to the state, the rights of the militia shall not be infringed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom

What Good Can a Handgun Do Against An Army?
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-backroom/2312894/posts


28 posted on 05/15/2014 1:26:59 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson