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Letter: Ignoring the law

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  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 27, 2013 4:22 p.m.

    To "RanchHand" tell us which you are to obey when laws conflict with the Constitution?

    Civil rights laws say that you cannot discriminate in who you serve, but the Constitution says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".

    Tell us which law you obey when US law says that you must do something that goes against the way you exercise your religion.

    Which is the Supreme law of the land?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    Steve:

    "Imagine the chaos that would ensue if individual citizens or corporations began to pick and choose which laws they thought were just."

    Isn't that exactly what the photographer in NM did? That Hobby Lobby is doing? That the bakers and florists who are refusing to provide their services to gay couples are doing did?

    Ah, the view you printed is only half the story.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    Gmlewis made an interesting observation by writing, "a President can choose not to execute a law passed by Congress."

    That statement caused me to spend several hours Googling the thoughts of others about whether the President has the right to refuse to enforce laws passed by Congress. There is a paper written by Abner J. Mikva, who was council to President Clinton, entitled "PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY TO DECLINE TO EXECUTE UNCONSTITUTIONAL STATUTES".

    In that paper, he explained that the President has no obligation to enforce laws that the President believes are unconstitutional. (Mr. Mikva was Chief Judge on the D.C. Circuit. Mikva became Obama's political advisor and suggested he learn more effective public speaking from observing preachers.)

    So, when a Chief Judge, who is a staunch Democrat and an advisor to Obama, tells us that the only time a President has the right to refuse to enforce a law passed by Congress is when that President thinks that the law is unconstitutional, what does that mean when Obama refuses to enforce ObamaCare? Does Obama think that ObamaCare is unconstitutional?

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Aug. 26, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    I make a distinction in my mind between Presidential "Signing Statements" and Executive Orders. Signing statements allow the President to discuss his misgivings about a bill before signing it, and even stating his/her intentions for executing it. Executive Orders that literally change existing law are usurping Legislative privilege, and should be considered unconstitutional.

    Most of the examples supplied in this article or in the comments deal with instructions for executing or ignoring laws, and I think that this is a perogative of the Executive Branch. In the same way that Congress can unfund a President's power to conduct a declared war, a President can choose not to execute a law passed by Congress. In such instances, separation of powers continue to exist. However, Ccongress cannot stop the President from using the military to protect the country, and the President cannot rewrite legislation that is the law of the land.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    @mark "I understand that it is because there are some bugs that are needing to be worked out in that area."

    Yes. Bugs that would be --

    1) embarrassing
    2) to Obama
    3) and his party
    4) just before midterm elections.

    Those are political considerations, and none of them are made up. If Obama is basing his multiple delays on any high principle, he has not articulated it.

    "But whatever the reason, if the Republicans want it implemented right away, why don't they force the issue in court?

    You'll have to ask them. I'm not a Republican. The question I have is, why has Obama not gone to Congress to ask them to amend the law, and why has he chosen instead to act outside his constitutional authority?

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 26, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" but what James Buchanan did in 1857 was constitutional. Yes it was stupid, but it is constitutional.

    Where in the Constitution does it allow the Federal Government to spy on its citizens without a warrent?

    Where in the Constitution does it allow the President or other officials to indefinately detain its citizens?

    Where does the constitution allow the Federal Government to purchase businesses?

    Obama has been trampling the Constitution and our liberties without little resisitance from the media and your ilk. How much longer until you wake up and realize that liberal politicians in both parties have sold the US for their own gain?

    You should also realize that Obama and all of the policies that you love the most from him are exactly what you say you fight against. They are forcing you to be good. They take away your agency.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    Holy moley...what are D news readers going to do when Hillary is elected our next President?

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    Wanda, is it "hate" to tell the President that he needs to understand his job description? His job is very simple. He is to execute the laws passed by Congress. If he thinks that a law should not be enforced, he should have his attorney general file a suit against that law and then let the Court determine whether that law is constitutional. Unless the Court rules against that law, the President is required by his oath of office to fully execute that law. Politics must not be part of his decision on which laws or what parts of laws he executes.

    He is trying to ignore parts of the law that he wanted passed. His administration used fraud and deceit to get ObamaCare passed. Bribes were offered (Louisiana purchase, Nebraska exemption, union exemption). Rules were broken. Debate was restricted.

    He wanted ObamaCare. His DUTY is to enforce that law completely or to ask the Court to declare that it is unconstitutional. The Court said that it is a tax. Obama can remind the Court that health-care is not on the enumerated list of taxes that can be levied.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    Actually nate, my comment wasn't comparing President Obama's actions to those involving the general. I was responding to this comment:

    "Imagine the chaos that would ensue if individual citizens or corporations began to pick and choose which laws they thought were just. "

    I was pointing out that most people do already choose to ignore the law, and sometimes it is the right thing to do.

    But to the discussion of President Obama, you mention Obamacare implementation and you apply motives to why you think he is not implementing a part of it. But you are just guessing that politics is the reason. You are making it up. I understand that it is because there are some bugs that are needing to be worked out in that area. But whatever the reason, if the Republicans want it implemented right away, why don't they force the issue in court?

    As far as immigration, perhaps Obama sees an unjust law that tears families apart and uproots young people that have never known anything other then this country. It seems he is standing on principle, quite like General Atchison when he refused to participate in the expulsion of a people.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    Aug. 26, 2013 7:55 a.m.

    Funny how Bush's executive orders, that amend previous orders, or interject in union/management labor negotiations etc., some how equate to Obama's orders to not follow deportation laws, and and change healthcare law implementation so his party is more favorable in next election!

    As for the GOP coming up with a "more favorable legislation" on healthcare, they have done it. It's called repeal obamacare! Funny how democrats were not held to the same standard when they forced this legislation down the countries throat!

  • Wanda B. Rich Provo, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 10:13 p.m.

    You know, I get really tired of all the hate I see aimed at the president of the nation by those whose only desire, apparently, is to destroy the man rather than offer solutions to our problems. Let's hear something constructive, conservatives. Whining is so ineffective.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 10:12 p.m.

    @mark "But in the specific example I mention, should have that law been followed, or ignored?"

    In the specific example you mention, the right thing to do was to ignore the law. But an important distinction lies in the reasons for ignoring it. This is where your comparison breaks down.

    The Extermination Order was not only unconstitutional, it was downright evil. Contrast this with Obama's reasons for disobeying the law. In the case of Obamacare, he can't say it's unconstitutional or evil. He was the one who pushed for it, and signed it into law. Obama's disobedience to Obamacare has nothing to do with principle, and everything to do with politics. It's his best shot at avoiding embarrassment to himself and to his party before the next midterm elections.

    It's the same with other laws he ignores. He never explain his disobedience by citing any constitutional objections. He simply does what he wants, and defies anyone to hold him accountable.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 25, 2013 7:17 p.m.

    L Liberal,

    Obama used his "free choice" to run for office. He used his "free choice"to to take the oath of office. He is now under oath to execute the laws. If he believes that his "law" is superior to the Supreme Law of the Land then he has the free choice to leave office. He cannot break his oath without rejecting everything that is required of those who hold that office.

    Do think that a President of YOUR church would ever break his oath? Why would you excuse Obama for breaking his oath?

  • VickieB SLC, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 7:02 p.m.

    Mark

    Children at 18 are adults, they are responsibility if they don't follow the law, and correct things. Demanding we change the laws so they don't have to take responsibility is wrong. They are citizens of their parents country, and if the family is deported, their ties are still with them. Their parents came here without ties, why can't they do the same thing? The majorities culture followed them here.

    MoliterManus

    Obama gave the adults here, brought by their parents as children, a two year waiver. He told ICE not to arrest or deport anyone who fit the criteria. ICE sued, the law tells them to deport people, and Obama is telling them to ignore the law. The judge ruled they were probably correct, but it was not a legal issue, but a collective bargaining issue. I think his reason is very questionable.

    Then last Friday, Obama added parents of children, to the list of people he doesn't want deported. Obama making decisions that belong to Congress on such a hot button issue does not help the cause. He is showing he is ignoring all enforcement laws. Immigration reform won't change that.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 6:32 p.m.

    "@mark "Should that law have been followed? Or ignored?"

    Those aren't our only alternatives. Unjust laws may be repealed, and they may be struck down by the courts. We have legal means available to remove them."

    This is true, Nate. But in the specific example I mention, should have that law been followed, or ignored? Remember, executive order 44 was a legal order issued by Boggs. The state legislator would not hear an appeal by Mormon leaders, therefore the order stood. Militia leaders followed the order. Are you saying they were right to follow the order? One non-mormon militia leader, General David Atchison, a militia general as well as well known legislator refused to follow the law and would not take part in any actions against Mormons. Are you saying he was in the wrong?

    Or how about Rosa Parks, or the Greensboro Four who sat at a whites only lunch counter in a woolsworth in Selma. These people were ignoring the law. Are you saying they were wrong?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 6:27 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    Those who have taken an oath have no excuse to not keep that oath. Failure is not an option when your title is "Mr. President".
    5:14 p.m. Aug. 25, 2013

    =====

    I took my oath. Dec. 03, 1978
    and I take it very seriously.
    It's why I fight guys like you who seek to force righteousness and push to take away Freedom of Choice, Free Agency, and trample everything the Constitution stands for.

    And you?
    When did you take the "Oath"?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 25, 2013 5:14 p.m.

    Too many people think that an oath means nothing. They think that giving your word no longer means anything. They think that being responsible is something that died with their grandparents. They, just like Obama, look for someone or something to blame.

    Obama told us, "The buck stops with me" and then he told us that the Republicans were the cause of all our problems. There is no excuse for the CEO of America to ever pass the buck.

    Those who have taken an oath have no excuse to not keep that oath. Failure is not an option when your title is "Mr. President".

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 4:39 p.m.

    Ok LDS Liberal. I'll agree with you. Obama isn't the worst president in history but he is in the top two. His incompetence is only overshadowed by his ego which doesn't allow him to admit that he doesn't have a clue what he is going. His constant campaign tours is proof that it is all about him. He ought to stay in the White House and actually try to work with people from both sides of the aisle to try to accomplish something instead of ruling by fiat.

    By the way, the worst president? Carter of course. But Barry is not far behind.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    Joe Blow, repealing Obama care to have what we did before? Just what did we have before? I don't need Obama care to determine what my doctor does for me. If I don't want insurance, I shouldn't be forced to buy it. If I'm young and only want a catastrophic policy, it should be my choice to purchase it or not. The company that I work for has offered me great coverage at a reasonable price over the last many years. The problem? The last two years since ObamaCare was passed, the cost of my coverage has gone up and my coverage options have gone down. I never used to have a deductible. Now I do. I used to have 100% coverage. No more. In talking to my doctor, he states that due to the mandates of the new law, he spends as much time on Federally mandated paperwork as he does seeing patients.

    You want to improve health care? Go to a fee for service system where insurance is not involved meaning allowing me to negotiate with my doctor. Get the lawyers out of the way. Let them sue when it is actually warranted and appropriate.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 4:10 p.m.

    ENOUGH! I say with all the "Obama is the worst President in History", malarkey.

    If Obama sent in Federal Troops, under "Executive Order" like James Buchanan did in 1857 - then you might have something to be afraid other than your own boogieman under the bed shadows.

    BTW - Buchanan felt the Mormons in Utah were starting a Rebellion.
    Perhaps the current President might be closing than I'm willing to admit?...

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    Imagine the chaos that would ensue if individual citizens or corporations began to pick and choose which laws they thought were just. Yet this is precisely what our president has done, and the precedent he is setting could become fatal to our nation.

    Steve Fillerup

    ========

    I'll remember that silly one-liner and LOL each and everytime these same "Holier-than-thous" scream past me on I-15 and cutting me off for obeying, honoring, and sustaining the laws of the land.

    Hypocrites...

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 3:24 p.m.

    @mark "Should that law have been followed? Or ignored?"

    Those aren't our only alternatives. Unjust laws may be repealed, and they may be struck down by the courts. We have legal means available to remove them.

    Obama also has legal means available. If the president wants to change a law, the Constitution gives him power to "recommend to [Congress's] Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." It doesn't authorize him to blatantly ignore the law, nor to unilaterally rewrite it. In fact, it assigns him the duty to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."

    Obama's lawlessness violates fundamental principles. If our president is not bound by the rule of law, then we are not citizens, but subjects.

  • MoliterManus SLC, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 1:26 p.m.

    VickieB

    I must admit that I am rather confused. Obama announced a policy Friday, but a judge ruled against agents trying to block the policy last month?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    So where is the proof? What are the crimes that have been committed by our president? What charges have been filed to bring him to trial?

    All we get from the republicans and their conservative friends are: I think, I feel, it looks like, where was the president at night, Bengazi was Obama’s fault. Now they want Obama to go to war because some people believe a video is proof.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:41 p.m.

    "Obama has directed OPM to pay special subsidies for the health insurance of congressional staff even though the law expressly forbids this."

    Wrong
    Congress and Congressional Staffers are the ONLY large employer required to buy insurance from the exchanges. Since the exchanges are for people NOT covered by employer insuance, the law is silent on "employer contributions." The law doesn't spell out how Congress buys insurance through the exchanges, leaving much to interpretation.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:37 p.m.

    "We have one President at a time. The time to discuss Obama is now. The time to blame other Presidents is in the past."

    No, Mike Richards, I refuse to live in the same vacuum it seems you want to. I will not pretend that history began in Janurary, 2009. I will not try to understand events that are happening today without an understanding of what has happened before. If you choose to live with blinders on that is your choice; I choose to see the world as it is.

    And I will not sit by while others criticize this president for doing the exact same thing previous presidents have done. I will not pretend that he is the first to have done it and I will not be muzzled by you or your ilk.

    -So Vickie, your complaint is that this president refuses to see young people that have only known life in this country torn up and sent to a foreign country that they have zero ties to? Your complaint is that this president does not think families should be torn apart?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    "The Obama administration has relaxed mandated work requirements for welfare despite a federal law to the contrary."

    And that's not true either. He followed through on a change that doesn't relax requirements that was requested by several governors including Governor Herbert. You might be familiar with him.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    “Imagine the chaos that would ensue if individual citizens or corporations began to pick and choose which laws they thought were just.”

    Sort of like what churches are doing.

  • dave Park City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    Mike,

    What you are saying is that we should ignore history and precedence. We should treat each occurrence as unique and reinterpret case law to fit a definition that has been disproved many times.

    Stating that the buck stops with him is a failure? Typically most people look at that responsibility in a positive light. Would you like the President to not take responsibility?

    This myopic partisan talk is a cancer that erodes at the soul of America.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 25, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    We have one President at a time. The time to discuss Obama is now. The time to blame other Presidents is in the past. Those who have no possible way to condone Obama's failure to faithfully execute the laws that his oath of office requires of him will mimic him and try to divert his failure by blaming others. His declaration that "The buck stops with me" is just one more failure to perform his duty.

    Those who compare his rhetoric with his actions don't waste time listening to his grad schemes; they know that he will do what he wants regardless of the limitations imposed on him by the Supreme Law of the Land.

  • VickieB SLC, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 11:31 a.m.

    The Obama administration issued a new policy Friday that says immigration agents should try not to arrest and deport illegal immigrant parents of minor children. The move adds to the categories of people the administration is trying not to deport.

    ICE agents and officers sued to block the policies, but a federal judge in Texas last month turned down their case. The judge said they were probably correct in arguing that the law requires them to arrest illegal immigrants, but he said he didn’t have jurisdiction since it was a matter for collective bargaining, not for the courts.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 11:24 a.m.

    "We will now hear the Deseret News comments that will try and dispute what you have said."

    Already done, star bright, look at the comments above yours. They have already blown the letter writers argument out of the water. Done.

    "You can imagine if this was Pres Bush we would hear screaming all over about this usurpation of power."

    He did do it. Seems like there wasn't that much screaming, you sure didn't hear about it. Or at least you choose to ignore it in your zeal to attack this president and fret about whether this country can weather this president.

    "Imagine the chaos that would ensue if individual citizens or corporations began to pick and choose which laws they thought were just. "

    But we do just that all the time. Every time you break traffic laws, or don't follow "antiquated" laws dealing with you intimate life, or don't follow exactly housing codes. Businesses push the law all the time looking for tax loopholes and the like.

    There was a governor that ordered the extermination of Mormons. Shoot on sight, I believe. Should that law have been followed? Or ignored?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 25, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    I have not seen a poll (or do not recall) that asks Americans

    "would you like to repeal Obamacare in favor of what we had before"

    I suspect that the public would be strongly opposed to that.

    Yet, the "repeal and replace" GOP has yet to pen replacement legislation.

    If they would offer a better solution, I think most (including me) would give it a fair look.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Aug. 25, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    Delaying the ACA is not what most of American wants, getting rid of it is!

  • Star Bright Salt Lake City, Ut
    Aug. 25, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    Thank you Mr. Fillerup!
    We will now hear the Deseret News comments that will try and dispute what you have said.
    I fear for this nation and for what this president is doing to it.
    You can imagine if this was Pres Bush we would hear screaming all over about this usurpation of power.
    I pray our country is protected and can whether this presidency.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 8:40 a.m.

    It's totally okay to be upset with this type of thing... personally I think it's used more than it should. However, pretending this is only an Obama thing is either wrong or dishonest, depending on whether one knows better.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    These are executive orders. They're kinda annoying. But the thing about them is... Obama has used 157 in 4.5 years. W. Bush used 291 in 8 years (so they're at roughly the same pace). Clinton, 364 in 8 years. Bush 166 in 4 years. Reagan 381 in 8 years.

    But hey, at least it's not like Coolidge (1203 in 8 years) or FDR (3522 in 13 years). In fact Obama is using them at a pace roughly the lowest per year in a century.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    The Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations refused to enforce the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. This allowed large national corporations to drive thousands of local firms out of business.

    The Bush Jr. administration did not enforce many environmental laws, or securities laws.

    No administration in the last thirty years has enforced our country's labor laws, which has allowed Corporate America to bust all the unions and kill worker wages.

    Were you complaining about these cases.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 25, 2013 7:02 a.m.

    "Sadly, this president has taken upon himself the power to determine which laws he will deign to enforce."

    2 things.

    It is not just "this president". Signing statements have been used by may presidents, with G W Bush being the most prolific in history. Signing statements do Exactly what you are railing against.

    Delaying parts of the ACA is what the GOP has been pushing, and continues to push.

    Proving once again, If the Dems want to make the GOP scream about something, give them what they ask for. They will do an immediate 180.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:18 a.m.

    Imagine a world where fox creates reality. I guess we dont have to imagine anymore, eh?