Comments about ‘Charles Krauthammer: Can President Obama really write his own laws?’

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Published: Sunday, Aug. 18 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"Presidents are arguably permitted to refuse to enforce laws they consider unconstitutional (the basis for so many of George W. Bush's so-called signing statements)."

Who "arguably permits" that? Is that your interpretation because Bush did it so many times?

How convenient Mr Krauthammer. Are you saying that none of GW Bush's 157 signing statement which challenged over 1100 provisions of federal law were not done for "mere policy"?

Mr Krauthammer was forced to split quite a few hairs on this one in order to find a distinction.

And my usual disclaimer. GOP presidents have been just as guilty as Dems in executive overreach.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

"Such gross executive usurpation disdains the Constitution. It mocks the separation of powers. And most consequentially, it introduces a fatal instability into law itself." Another brilliant article Dr. Krauthammer. Why doesn't anyone hold Obama and Eric Holder accountable like they would any other President and Attorney General? If you disagree with them, you will be called a "racist" and an obstructionist by the very people who should be outraged and would be if it were any other President. Obama and Holder must be having belly laughs about all this! Look Mom, no one can stop me! I am invincible! Even the constitution is meaningless to this man! All this is of course very dangerous for democracy!

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Oh, please.

I work in healthcare, and the HIPAA patient privacy laws, which were passed under Clinton, and subsequently ignored by Bush, are being enforced by Obama. Bush didn't enforce HIPAA laws because he believed regulations are anti-freedom, intended to punish business (or in the case of environmental regulations they should only be voluntary - the businesman's delight).

The bigger problem Krauthammer and most other conservatives dodge is the emerging reality that with highly gerrymandered Congressional districts our political system is oriented not toward what the Founding Fathers demonstrated for us as an example - compromise - but toward paralysis, which will eventually result in a failed government, and subsequently the failure of the American experiment.

Dr Krauthammer addresses the symptoms, but ignores the root cause. Maybe that's why he's a journalist and not practicing medicine.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

You don't suppose that if Republicans would stop cutting prison budgets, and actually INCEASED them to support the added number of criminals - that the Feds need to even consider letting non-violent criminals out?

The problem with Conservatives is they want things [roads, police, fire departments, schools, prisons, wars, ect.] and then NEVER figure out a way or man up to pay for them!

FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

Bush and Reagan never did what Obama just did? Hmmm...

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

According to the American Bar Associations, signing statements are Unconstitutional.
Yes, all recent presidents have used them, but President Bush exceeded them all quite handily.

Where is Mr Richards outrage about the unconstitutional abuse of power.

In July 2006, a task force of the American Bar Association stated that the use of signing statements to modify the meaning of duly enacted laws serves to "undermine the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers".[2] In fact, the Constitution does not authorize the President to use signing statements to circumvent any validly enacted Congressional Laws, nor does it authorize him to declare he will disobey such laws (or parts thereof). When a bill is presented to the President, the Constitution (Art. I) provides three choices: do nothing, sign the bill, or (if he disapproves of the bill) veto it in its entirety and return it to the House in which it originated, along with his written objections to it.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

"The attorney general can make some changes to drug policy on his own. He is giving new instructions to federal prosecutors on how they should write their criminal complaints when charging low-level drug offenders, to avoid triggering the mandatory minimum sentences. Under certain statutes, inflexible sentences for drug crimes are mandated regardless of the facts or conduct in the case, reducing the discretion of prosecutors, judges and juries.

Some of Holder’s other initiatives will require legislative change. Holder is urging passage of legislation with bipartisan support that is aimed at giving federal judges more discretion in applying mandatory minimum sentences to certain drug offenses."
(CBS)

wrz
Pheonix, AZ

It works something like this... Obama can do as he pleases. The only way to stop him is impeachment. And that ain't gonna happen because the Democrats control the Senate. And, of course, Obama's pal, Eric Holder, ain't gonna do anything about it either. They're cut from the same cloth. So, we're stuck until Obama leaves office.

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

Strange how republicans are all for personal freedom yet love to deny people their freedom with the war on marijuana. I'll never use it, but I fail to see it's dangers being any greater than alcohol and throwing people in jail and spending $50,000 a year to keep them there is just ludicrous.

The executive branch is charged with administration of it's departments which are what executive orders are for. If there's any leeway in a law, the president can use an executive order. Other than that it's probably against the constitution or spirit of the constitution.

I'd complain more about that but until we make bribing senators illegal and they serve the people again, it's all meaningless. A bribed congress is no better than a bribed president.

The one thing we should all be able to agree on is that a lobbyist walking in with a $50,000 check and a promise for more probably wants something in return. That is unconstitutional.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

I find it Ironic that Charles starts his opinion with this little jewel:
"As a reaction to the crack epidemic of the 1980s, many federal drug laws carry strict mandatory sentences."

Reagan's legacy: It is a documented historical fact that the CIA (under reagan) bought and taught the Contras to make crack and then introduced it into California in the 1980's, creating the epidemic.

More wonderful conservative ideals, huh chuckles.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

Can Obama write his own laws? In a word ... YES!! He has done it .. he is doing it and he will continue. We complain that Barack can't delay the Obamacare rollout ...but he does it anyway. We complain that Barack can't bypass congress on just about every executive order...but he does it anyway. No checks and balances anymore in this government...just a monarchy. We are back to the 1700's with King George inflicting his will on the populous in every way he desires. Recall there was a Tea Party around 1775 that American citizens had had enough of their King robbing them of their money and their liberty and today we are re-living history with King Barack. Socialism demands a King at the top to force his will.

Tators
Hyrum, UT

@ Happy Valley Heretic
FreedomFighter41
JoeBlow

Your rationalizing presents a very weak and pecksniffian argument. So if some other president did it before Obama, then apparently it's OK by you for him (Obama) to just keep breaking the law and ignoring the Constitution.

News flash... That's NOT how the rule of law works. Each situation needs be taken and decided on it's own merits, and not extenuated to other people's (president's) previous actions. As we've all been told since the second grade... two wrongs don't make a right. That's still a good cliche to abide by.

It's the current extent (and ever growing level) of executive branch misuse of power that is especially egregious. Whether any previous president did so or not, is not the primary argument. The longer this abuse is allowed to persist, the greater damage there is to our Constitution and it's subsidiary laws. This type of abuse of power needs to be stopped ASAP... regardless of political affiliation. Rational thinking should make that pretty easy to understand.

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