“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
That is the oath of office of the President of the United States.
Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution states that the President,
"shall take Care that the Laws are faithfully executed."
It is also of note that the powers and duties of Congress are enumerated in Article I of the Constitution before those of the President in Article II.
It seems hard to believe that Barack Obama has even read the Constitution let alone taken an oath to "preserve, protect and defend it" when you view his actions as President. He is also considered by some to be a "Constitutional scholar" if you can believe that.
Consider the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" which he considers his most significant accomplishment as President.
Despite being given a period of time to implement the law that was longer than the time it took the United States to win World War II (from Pearl Harbor to VJ Day), the Obama administration was totally ill-prepared to implement the law. Chaos ensued and one statutory provision after another was ignored, delayed or manipulated to limit public outcry and political blowback.
The Galen Institute counts 24 significant changes have been made to the Obamacare statute by way of administrative action including delaying the individual mandate, the employer-mandate and the small business exchange. Obama also exempted unions from the reinsurance fee (which cost my employer almost $1 million) and provided subsidies to members of Congress and their staffs that the law does not provide.
The President's actions in failing to enforce the immigration laws are well known over the last six years. He has now gone even further in his lawlessness and is attempting to create laws on his own.
The President's rationale is that since the House of Representatives had not acted on the Senate-passed immigration reform bill that he was free to implement his own immigration fix. He further stated that if the House Republicans did not like his executive order they could pass legislation to rescind it.
Where is it in the Constitution that the President passes the law and the Congress has veto power? The President has it exactly backwards.
He later said to a crowd in Chicago, that included some immigration protestors who were heckling him because he hadn't gone even further in his "executive action",
“Now, you’re absolutely right that there have been significant numbers of deportations. That’s true. But what you are not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law.”
Unfortunately for President Obama, he does not have any such authority to do these kinds of things under the Constitution.
The constitutional lawyer himself admitted 22 times that he did not have the authority, before he did it anyway.
If you want to review the legal issues underpinning all of this I recommend you read this article by Jan Ting who teaches immigration and tax law at Temple University and was Assistant Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1990-1993. He knows something about what the Executive brand can and cannot do on immigration under the Constitution.
President Obama's "Deferred Action" Program for Illegal Aliens is Plainly Unconstitutional
Another troubling aspect of our President is his propensity to take sides on issues in the legal system, such as the Trayvon Martin case ("he could have been my son") or Ferguson, MO, when he should be a neutral party with no interest beyond seeking truth and justice for all.
Where does all of this lead us?
A very dangerous place.
Victor Davis Hanson writes what happens "When the Law Is a Drag".
In the Ferguson disaster, the law was the greatest casualty. Civilization cannot long work if youths strong-arm shop owners and take what they want. Or walk down the middle of highways high on illicit drugs. Or attack police officers and seek to grab their weapons. Or fail to obey an officer’s command to halt. Or deliberately give false testimonies to authorities. Or riot, burn, and loot. Or, in the more abstract sense, simply ignore the legal findings of a grand jury; or, in critical legal theory fashion, seek to dismiss the authority of the law because it is not deemed useful to some preconceived theory of social justice. Do that and society crumbles.
Regarding executive actions on illegal immigration...
Nor can a government maintain legitimacy when it presides over lawlessness. The president of the United States on over 20 occasions insisted that it would be illegal, dictatorial, and unconstitutional to contravene federal immigration law — at least when to do so was politically inexpedient. When it was not, he did just that. Now we enter the Orwellian world of a videotaped president repeatedly warning that what he would soon do would be in fact illegal. Has a U.S. president ever so frequently and fervently warned the country about the likes of himself?
What is forgotten about amnesty is that entering the U.S. illegally is not the end, but often the beginning of lawlessness. Out here in rural central California we accept a world where thousands drive without insurance, licenses, and registration. Fleeing the scenes of traffic accidents earns snoozes. There is no such thing as the felony of providing false information on government affidavits or creating made-up Social Security numbers. Selling things without paying taxes and working off the books while on assistance are no longer illegal. The normative culture is lawlessness.
Regarding President Obama...
The fuel of lawlessness is untruth. What amazes about President Obama is not that he occasionally misstates facts — every president has done that — but that he so serially says things that are untrue and yet he must know are so easily exposed as untrue. When the president on over 20 occasions swears he cannot legally grant amnesty and then does so, or when he swears he cannot comment on an ongoing criminal case when he habitually has done just that, or when he insists that Obamacare will not result in higher premiums and deductibles or loss of doctors and health plans when it does precisely that, or when he asserts to the world that a mere demonstration over a video caused an attack on our consulate in Benghazi when he knew that it did not, or when he utters iron-clad red lines, deadlines, and step-over-lines that he knows are mythical or denies he has done just that — when he does all this, then almost everything he asserts must be doubted.
Regarding the "Redistribution of the Law"...
More disturbingly, we have engendered a strange culture of justifiable lawlessness: those who are deemed exploited in some ways are exempt from following the law; those without such victim status are subject even more to it. Executive authorities compensate for their impotence in not enforcing statutes for some by excessively enforcing them on others.
What it all means...
For this administration, the law is a drag.
Indeed, the problem with the Obama administration is that the government’s own bureaucracies — the IRS, VA, Secret Service, GSA, EPA, Justice and State Departments — have so serially broken their own statutes and lied about their misconduct, that it is now almost impossible to reassure Americans that they, too, cannot do what their own government sees as some sort of birthright.
What separated the United States from a Peru or Nigeria or Mexico or Laos or Russia was the sanctity of the law, or the idea that from the highest elected officials to the least influential citizen, all were obligated to follow, according to their stations, the law. Under Obama, that sacred idea has been eroded. We live in a world of illegal immigration and amnesties, Ferguson mythologies, and alphabet government scandals, presided over by a president who not only does not tell the truth, but also seems to be saying to the public, “I say whatever I want, so get over it.”
All of this from a "Constitutional Lawyer"?
James Madison he is not.