Democrats and Republicans alike should be distressed by President Barack Obama’s disregard for constitutional limits on his authority. The president’s flouting of the separation of powers risks turning this country into something other than a representative democracy. Congress should move in a bipartisan rebuke of Obama’s overreach before he neuters that institution.
In a blatant challenge to the legislative branch, Obama by executive order tossed out the Clinton-era welfare reform that required able-bodied aid recipients to work, saying the federal government will no longer enforce the law.
This follows the president’s unilateral rewrite of immigration law, using an executive order to implement elements of the DREAM Act, which Congress refused to adopt. He also has thumbed his nose at the No Child Left Behind Act, and has put in place cap-and-trade carbon rules that were specifically rejected by Congress.
He can’t do these things, by any reading of the Constitution. And yet he is. Because Congress, whose powers he is usurping, hasn’t risen to stop him.
The Constitution separates powers between the legislative, administrative and judicial branches to more effectively limit government authority, and thus protect individual liberty.
Obama apparently does not recognize those constitutional limits on his power.