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Legal Scholar and Professor of Law: President Obama’s Usurpation of Constitutional Authority Taken to a New Level

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A significant, but almost unnoticed event occurred the other day when Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at George Washington University, testified before the House Judiciary Committee.  Turley, a well-known legal scholar, constitutional expert, and a Democrat who voted for Obama, said he was concerned that Obama was dismantling our system of government:


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“[Although other presidents have also usurped constitutional authority] President Obama has taken it to a new level. I mean, when he went to Congress and said that he was going to go it alone, it was an amazing moment where various members of Congress cheered. It reminded me of when Holder went to an audience of lawyers and told them of the kill list policy, where the president was asserting the right to kill a citizen without a charge or conviction, and he received applause.These are really sort of Felliniesque moments for someone who studies the Constitution. The framers assumed, most famously James Madison, that ambition would check ambition in our system. But the legislative branch for the last two presidents has been virtually inert. It’s gotten to the point where the shift of power is so significant that I think we have to stop and take notice.
There’s no question that previous presidents abused their power. But what we’re seeing with the Obama administration is really a systemic circumvention of Congress. And remarkably he’s doing that with the applause of his own party, members of the legislative branch.”
For an Obama-Democrat-constitutionalist to blow the whistle on Obama-run-amok is roughly like the NFL acknowledging that playing professional football involves head injuries that may cripple players for life.  Normally neither NFL fans nor Democrats pay any attention, in one case, to injuries inflicted on the players, nor, in the other case, to injuries inflicted upon on our system of government.

But just as head injuries produce lasting disabilities, presidential usurpations of constitutional power produce lasting damage to the balance of powers.

Turley points out that when Obama does not get what he wants from Congress, he simply circumvents Congress, as he has done most recently in EPA  regulations (which congress rejected), immigration (which congress failed to pass),  Obamacare by shifting deadlines, and again in Obamacare by shifting money appropriated for one purpose to another.

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Whatever else this conduct is, it is lawless. 

But it is more than that.  Unlike ordinary lawlessness of the kind we are used to, this sort of lawlessness goes to the destruction of our system of government.  If the president, in his state of the union speech, receives applause when he boldly announces that he will act on his own if Congress does not give him what he wants, we have lost our three-part system of government, and now have only two, the executive and the judicial.  Unbelievably, it is the Congress, the branch closest to the people, the body that is being stripped of power that is applauding the stripping.

Turley points out that James Madison believed the three-part system of government would work because each branch of government would balance the errors of the others and jealously protect its own interests, but that is no longer the case.  Congress applauds the power grab.

This has occurred for a number of reasons.  The first is that Obama is a Communist ideologue who is determined to destroy a system which, he believes, has oppressed black people.  Usurpation of power is as good a way as any to destroy our system of government.

White progressives regard this description of Obama as hysterical.  But they think it’s hysterical only because their own progressivism demands both a black person in the White House at any cost, and because they too seek a Communistic society.  Having one man in control of a communal agenda while a few working people support a large mass of non-working people is the essence of the progressive brand of Communism.

The second reason the president has been able to usurp power is that for progressives, process, the rule of law, is always to be sacrificed to some morally superior, progressive goal.  But process, the rule of law, is all that separates us from tyranny.  Once the president can do whatever he wants because his goal is good, that by definition is tyranny, and our republic is lost.  As Professor Turley points out, “in our system it is often more important how we do something than what we do.”

The third reason Obama has been able to nullify Congress is that Congress is largely composed of people who came to Washington to do good and stayed to do well.  They are no more than thieves.  Their interest is not in preserving our form of government, but in themselves and in what Obama or his friends will give them if they play along.

Finally, Obama’s unprecedented usurpation of power has been made possible because the voting public is concerned only for benefits it can receive from the government and does not understand the importance of process or appreciate the systemic destruction that is progressing under its collective nose.

SOURCE: Freedom Outpost

Viewpoints expressed herein are of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted or linked therein, and do not necessarily represent those of TCP News

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