The House Judiciary Panel is holding a special hearing today to see if the president went over the line of the US Constitution to advance his agenda.
ENFORCING THE PRESIDENT’S CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY TO FAITHFULLY EXECUTE THE LAWS
You can watch live on CSPAN.
Witness Panel 1
- United States House of RepresentativesGerlach Testimony.pdf (146.3 KBs)
- United States House of RepresentativesBlack Testimony.pdf (305.2 KBs)
- United States House of RepresentativesRice Testimony.pdf (271.7 KBs)
- United States House of RepresentativesDeSantis Testimony.pdf (315.3 KBs)
Witness Panel 2
- George Washington University Law SchoolTurley Testimony.pdf (338.6 KBs)
- Florida International University College of LawFoley testimony.pdf (682.6 KBs)
- Duke University Law SchoolSchroeder Testimony.pdf (221.0 KBs)
Depending on the findings of the panel the Obama Administration may be forced to follow the US Constitution or other extreme measures may be taken including impeachment proceedings.
I think we can agree that Congress has fairly limited means of redress in the event that the executive branch circumvents the legislative branch through its decisions not to enforce certain federal law. Congress can try to pass new laws to either remedy or defund a violating action – but a president who undertook the action will not likely support the measure. Where the action rises to a “high crime or misdemeanor,” the House may initiate an impeachment proceeding. But, such an avenue would surely be extremely divisive within the Congress and the nation generally, and would divert the attention of Congress from other important issues of the day.
Finally, judicial relief could be sought, but we well know that that process can take years and years while the underlying transgression continues.
Rep. H. Tom Rice (R-SC) added this testimony:
The “take care” clause in Article II, section 3 of the Constitution provides that the President shall “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” While the President has the right to exercise reasonable discretion, he may not choose which laws shall be enforced. This is fundamental to our constitutional framework. Knowing the expectations for the executive branch, I have watched President Obama’s various actions with great dismay.
My constituents overwhelmingly share this dismay. Throughout my first months in office, my constituents continually voiced the same refrain: President Obama is overstepping the bounds of his office and Congress is doing nothing to stop his power grabs. Some have even suggested impeachment. If the President can continually use his discretion to rewrite laws without congressional approval, the House of Representatives and the Senate may as well cease to exist. This erosion of our separation of powers diminishes our democracy; leaving us with an imperial presidency.