Comments about ‘Constitutional expert: U.S. is at 'constitutional tipping point'’

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Published: Friday, Feb. 28 2014 3:00 p.m. MST

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La Verkin, UT

The check and balance in this problem is the Congress. ANY Senator or House member can rise in opposition to illegal or overstepping Executive Orders. They should have stopped a number of past presidents from doing this and they should stop this one. I once asked Senator Hatch why they didn't do so. His reply was that the Republicans don't want to do that because the Democrats would then do it to a Republican president. I then asked if that would not be a good thing but got no response. The congress is derelict in their duty in this matter.

salt lake city, utah

I know this is trite but when McConnell says during the first week of President Obama's first term the republicans sole purpose for the next four years is make him a one term President it sets a very definitive tone.

When the House speaker says Congress should not be judged on the number of laws it passes rather on the number of laws it repels, I would say there is in fact a leadership vacuum but and it resides in the republican party.

Springville, UT

Turley tends to look at things in an idealistic way. I'm not sure I agree with him. In fact, I would say that Obama has actually been more restrained than the prior two Presidents. A couple of observations. First, in 1996, I was involved first hand in asking Congress to step up and block an improper use of the executive authority. I could name names, but suffice it to say, the Republican controlled Congress refused to act. Based on this and other events, it became clear that Republicans believe in a strong executive, and that outweighed political affiliation. Any suggestion from Republicans that Obama is overstepping his bounds is nothing but cynical partisanship towards him, and those making the argument will be stone silent about it the next time a Republican sits in the White House. Finally, the fact that a minor story like this gets prominent treatment here (even the content is weak) shows the continuing partisanship of this newspaper. I have no expectation of objectivity with newspaper any more than I do of Fox. Let's be open and honest about it.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

I wonder how many posters read the 16 pages of testimony? From the comments, it doesn't look like many read past the synopsis.

We have three co-equal branches of government. None is above the law. None is superior to the other branches. All have separate but equal responsibilities. No matter what one thinks of Obama, his actions show that he disrespects the Constitution and its limits on this authority as President. As the testimony clearly states, the main fault is with the Judicial branch, which has failed to fulfill its duty to check both Congress and the President. The analogy of the fire department was particularly insightful. Chief Justice Roberts clearly abdicated his responsibility when he refused to rule on the Constitutionality of ObamaCare; when he told us that it was a tax; when he told us that he could not rule on any tax until the tax had been implemented.

When a branch of government takes a vacation from its duty, the Country suffers. Obama is taking advantage of the fact that the Court is unwilling to act.

Salt Lake City, UT

Recent examples of tyrants circumventing elected representatives in Russia and Venezuela should be a warning to the US. Gridlock is a sign that there must be a coming to the center by BOTH sides. It should not be used as an excuse by a president to ignore our constitution. When rigid ideology and radical polarization from the right or the left replaces pragmatism, bad results usually follow.

Rexburg, ID

In addition to the President's constitutional assault, the power wielded by unelected bureaucrats is alarming. The EPA, Homeland Security, public lands administrators, and others make laws, which power lies only with Congress.

We all need to stand up and be heard, and put an end to these abuses of power!

The Skeptical Chymist

This article is singularly uninformative. There is no description at all of the executive acts that Obama has undertaken that are unconstitutional. I have respect for Jonathan Turley, and I agree that both Bush and Obama (and many presidents before them) have acted in ways that are illegal and unconstitutional. But come on, Deseret News, give us more than a soundbite! What is the point of reading a "newspaper" if it is nothing more than a 20 second soundbite.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

UtahBlueDevil appears to be the only ne who actually read, or comprehends, Professor Turley's arguments. Turley makes a good case that it is the Judiciary that is to blame for this Executive overreach trend. And it is not President Obama's fault, certainly not in the sense of it being the power grab of a malevolent tyrant, as many comments here try to assert.

Turley states, and I agree:

"I do not subscribe to the common view that our current dysfunctional government is solely the result of political division and deadlock, which is nothing new in our system...I believe considerable blame rests not with the 'political branches' but with the Judicial Branch. By refusing to review many separation-based conflicts, the Court has...left the branches to use raw power moves to block each other."

Turley also cites "a fourth branch [that] has emerged in our tripartite system that is highly insulated and independent from Congress. Today, the vast majority of 'laws'; governing the United States are not passed by Congress but are issued as regulations [by federal agencies]".

This is a systemic problem, and only the naive or deliberately partisan and ignorant would simply blame Obama.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

@ Marxist. Congress voted and approved the Iraq war! Even Hillary voted for it. Wise up!

La Verkin, UT

@Mike Richards. I agree that the court was wrong on Obamacare, but as to Executive Orders it has little effect unless someone brings an action before the courts challenging the issued order. The correct response is for Congress to stop those actions before they become policy and then sue the executive branch if it implements the order in the face of their action. The Constitution actually works to stop tyranny and over-reaching if we know it and follow it. That is the responsibility of every citizen, but especially of Congress. Too bad they don't have the guts to do the job they swore an oath to do.

Springville, UT

@ Mike Richards, the courts only act when a case is brought to them. They do not act on their own. Congress can bring act, either by giving specific instructions to the Executive, or by bring a suit before the Court. They have done neither. The fact remains, and they won't admit it openly, Republicans do not want a weakened Executive branch or even balance (whatever that is). Mark my words on this.

By the way, it appears that your critique of Justice Roberts (who only has 1 of 9 votes), is based more on particular issues and partisan policy considerations, and your own personal interpretation of the Constitution. He did exactly his job, and disagreeing with it and wanting to go back to 1787 does not change that fact. (I disagree with him often, but I have great admiration for him). The evolution of the Constitution, its interpretation by the courts in the context of the times, and stare decisis have gone as the Founding Fathers intended. I know that may be hard to accept, but it's true. You are entitled to your interpretation, of course, but the nation has, in practice over 200+ years, not agreed with that interpretation.

Salt Lake City, UT

Excuse me - the eventual bill of the Iraq War will be $3 TRILLION.

Ex-Pat of Zion
Lititz, PA

@ Anti Government

There is no "we" at the present time. The best defense any citizen has is education. It doesn't take a lot of time to understand what the seven propaganda techniques are. The left, the right, big business all use them. People use resources to gain a benefit or avoid a consequence. Ultimately, time is the resource given to either of these expected outcomes. You can let groups decide them for you can take ownership of your decisions.

If you've been to the Holocaust museum in DC, there is a small newsreel display near the end of the tour where the allies forced the German citizens living near the concentration camps to view the ugliness, the toll, of propaganda appealing to the selfish attribute of vanity.

To much information flows today, but a historical refresher might be good to jog your memory and keep you from making your own choices.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Roland Kayser

Cottonwood Heights, UT


Abraham Lincoln's Executive Order Freeing the Slaves has to be the kingpin of all..

Conservatives L-O-V-E Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln,
but in reality, If they really knew any history at all [rather than the re-visionist history they hear from college drop outs on the radio] -- would hate virtually everything they ever did and how they did it.

Mainly Me
Werribee, 00

I seem to recall Joseph Smith saying that the Constitution would hang by a thread.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Every executive order directly or indirectly affects the States. The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in those cases. It does not have to wait until the case is appealed.

Congress has the power to impeach, but unless I misunderstand the Constitution, that is the only power that Congress has to stop the President. Therefore, it is the Court that must do its duty. If the Court fails to act, then the only step left is for Congress to remove the President from office. That is a drastic step that would be avoided if John Roberts took his role seriously and had the Court do its duty. Requiring the President to honor the Constitution is a minor thing when compared with removing him from office.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Ed Grady

RE: "Relax dudes, if this country can survive 8 years of George W Bush, it can survive anything"...

But George W Bush never said "we are just days away from FUNDAMENTALLY transforming this nation"... Obama did. That makes me nervous.



RE: "The worst and most recent example of presidential imperialism was the Iraq War. Using public hysteria as a backdrop one guy or two guys"... blah blah...

You are entitled to your own opinion, but when it contradicts actual fact it's no longer a matter of opinion. The Iraq War was approved by Congress (not Bush). Many Democrats voted to authorize military action. Congress had access to the same intelligence reports the President used to make his decision.

I respect people who express their opinion that the decision was wrong (regardless of whether I agree). That's their opinion... but not those who intentionally misrepresent what actually happened.


IMO President Clinton and President Bush and Congress exercised great diplomacy and restraint on Irag. But after 16 resolutions (all unanimously approved by the UN Security Council)... diplomacy had become futile and we had to respond another way.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

LDS Liberal and Roland Kayser,
The slaves were not freed by one man, or a Presidential Order... they were freed by the 13th amendment in the Constitution. (called the emancipation proclamation).

I wish you guys understood History.

It was not one man. There was a constitutional convention and a vote of the States (not a Presidential Fiat).

The President drove the decision... but he did NOT make it over the head of Congress or the States. He got the votes needed. That's what we're talking about.

one old man
Ogden, UT

And it all started with Nixon, Reagan, Johnson, Bush I, Bush II, Clinton and now maybe Obama.

E Sam
Provo, UT

Sorry, 2 bits, but no, the 13th amendment and the Emancipation proclamation are not the same thing. Nor was there a constitutional convention in the 1860's. The emancipation proclamation was an executive order.

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