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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Murray, UT

To all who ask:

If congress doesn't act, shouldn't the president act on his own?

NO! That would be acting like Adolph Hitler.

He is not the guy I want my president acting like.

Congress is meant to be slow to make it difficult to pass laws. There are too many special interest laws now, so perhaps passing laws needs to be even harder. Certainly we don't want special interest to only have to buy out one guy to get laws tailored to them.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

E Sam,
You are right. I tend to combine them but they are different.

Durham, NC

Mike Richards... you shocked me when you claimed "It does not have to wait until the case is appealed." The Supreme Court can not originate cases- please refer to rules and processes under title 28 of the United States Code.

E Sam... you are correct. 2 Bits has these confused. The emancipation proclamation was made as an executive order by virtue of the office of commander and chief on January 1, 1863, and freed the slaves. The 13th amendment - which abolished slavery - was passed on December 18, 1865, a long time after.

Phoenix, AZ

"but in what regard has Obama overstepped his constitutional authority?"

The Constitution sez the pres will 'take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.' (Article 2.3)

Here's two examples: He gave amnesty to the so-called dreamers (Illegal Immigrants) contrary to Immigration Laws. He has postponed the implementation the Employer Mandate contrary to the provisions of the ACA. There are more.

"The Supreme Court is responsible…."

The Supreme Court can do nothing unless a case is brought before them... and a case is coming headed by Judge Napolitano.

"The worst and most recent example of presidential imperialism was the Iraq War. Using public hysteria as a backdrop one guy or two guys (Bush and Cheney) decided to invade a country under false pretenses..."

The US Congress voted Bush power to invade under the 'Authorization to use Military Force in Iraq.' And dozens of Democrats voted for it including Senators Levin, Lieberman, Lautenberg, Dodd, Kerrey, Feinstein, Mikulski, Daschle, Breaux, Johnson, Inouye, Landrieu, Ford and Kerry.

Farmington, UT

@Roland Kayser and others moaning about how obstructive Congress as been with this President, I'm afraid that's a rather lame excuse for failing to lead. He has it no worse than other president who didn't have a majority in both houses. Abraham Lincoln certainly didn't opt to no lead when facing a decidedly greater set of obstacles.


We started giving the Constitution away quite some time ago. Patriot Act, Homeland Security, confiscation/conversion based on "suspicion" instead of process, eminent domain for private developers, FISC (secret court), Guantanamo, and more, denial of all protections based on a secret administrative act --

Bountiful, UT

If President Obama is using too much Executive power, then Republicans are also partly to blame. What choice does Obama have if he wants to get anything done? Democracy is about negotiation and compromise. But the Republican House would rather grandstand and obstruct than sit down and work anything out. Nothing gets accomplished that way.

Lafayette, IN

The President is not Czar, King, Potentate, or Grand Pubah. He is a government employee. We need to go back to seeing our presidents as merely such.

North Ogden, UT

The logic comparing Lincoln’s EOs to Obama’s doesn’t make it constitutional.

Lincoln the lawyer President knew his executive powers only allowed him to issue the emancipation to those states in rebellion (article 4, section 4); it did not apply to those slave states that stayed loyal to the union (i.e. Missouri, Kentucky, and Maryland). And it would be suspended after the war.

The emancipation never freed one slave; that requires a constitutional amendment. Lincoln’s resolve was to preserve the union. He understood he never had the power to abolish slavery or to suspend the Writ of Habeas corpus outside his war powers.

So why issue the emancipation? To encourage the southern slaves to rise up in rebellion? Perhaps but they never did. However, it kept England out of the war. England considered joining the war with the confederates but they had outlawed slavery 20 years earlier; joining the Southern cause after the proclamation made it unpopular for them.

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