To the editor:
President Obama has threatened to bypass Congress and use executive orders to achieve the policy changes he cannot get through legislation. In other words, he promises to take further executive action wherever the lawmakers fail to meet his demands. To me, it seems the executive branch has assumed the role of ultimate lawgiver already, and promises even more of the same.
As a law enforcement person, I see the selective enforcement of various laws by executive action or inaction as our executive branch becoming a legislature. Remember our Constitution saying Congress passes laws and the President enforces those laws? The recent Obamacare actions by the president to delay employer mandate, the hardship exemption and at least 10 other outright changes in the law as it was passed are clear examples of changes of policy without Congressional approval. Previously, the president unilaterally enacted immigration law and decides then not to enforce other immigration laws already on the books. He removed the work requirement in the welfare laws. In Colorado and Washington, he selectively decides not to enforce federal laws on marijuana which applies to all states. The federal controlled substances laws ban marijuana. However, the federal DOJ does not pursue marijuana cases in those states. Then, why enforce them here in Pennsylvania? The same applies to DOMA even though Congress decided and passed a law that marriage is between one man and one woman. These are clear examples of selective enforcement. There are many more.
Obama's use of executive orders in these ways far exceeds the scope of orders of former presidents. He has essentially become a legislature on his own. I wonder how he would describe the limits of his ability to engage in such selection of laws to enforce or not enforce.
I truly do not understand how a president can make a blanket de-criminalization of an entire class of drugs such as marijuana, contrary to a federal law. I am bothered greatly by such an exercise of power and level of contempt this administration has for the rule of law. Remember his recent reference to "with or without Congress."
I cannot believe Congress can and does just sit by and watch this happen. The mainstream media, likewise, should be a watchdog, but is acting like a press release department for the Obama campaign machine.
So, what is a person to do? I see three legal possibilities: Sue the president in court; impeachment; or the election process. We clearly need to insist on the rule of law, not arbitrary executive actions which appear to me to be clearly unconstitutional and lawless. No one is above the law. When your job is to enforce the law, you need to do it, and not change it at your whim.
Selective enforcement and using executive orders to achieve policy changes that cannot be gotten through legislation are serious threats to our Constitution. The rule of law is under siege of the Obama presidency.