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Conscientious Objectors? I Think Not...

Remember those rumors a little while ago that the Obama administration was looking into ways to enact "comprehensive immigration reform" without bothering to go through Congress? You know, the bit where Obama would put himself above the Constitution and just make sweeping changes by executive fiat, bypassing the checks and balances and the little bit where Congress enacts the law and the president enforces it?

Well, it looks like there's a bit of truth to that one, as a memo has been leaked from the US Customs and Immigration Service that explores just how that could be done.

In and of itself, this is no big deal. This is what government employees do -- write memos, plans, and whatnot. Every now and then there's some bogus outrage when it comes out that the Pentagon has a top-secret plan to do things like invade Canada or destroy San Francisco or, perhaps, even nuke the moon. This is usually linked to a pronouncement of impending tyranny, but all it means is that some guys (and it's usually guys) in the Pentagon wanted to exercise their planning muscles and preparing for all sorts of contingencies. (England and France were allies in 1939, but England still invaded France in 1944 as France had been conquered and occupied by Germany.)

In this case, the topic of an executive end-run around the actual law has been floating around for some time. It's not surprising that someone in the CIS would go to some of their legal staff and say "Bob, it's time you actually did something to earn your paycheck. You know those rumors? Gimme a memo about ways that might be tried, and the legal implications of each of 'em."

So the existence of the memo is no big deal in and of itself. More troubling is the USCIS' response to the leak -- as noted, the key weasel word is "entire." As in, "To be clear, DHS will not grant deferred action or humanitarian parole to the nation's entire illegal immigrant population." Nicely weaseled -- as long as some illegal aliens are excluded, it's perfectly accurate. So "amnesty for all illegal aliens except those who have been convicted of at least three sex crimes" is still plausible.

Even more troubling, though, is the problem this inadvertently reveals. The Obama administration has already shown that one of the tools it likes to use to set policy is selective enforcement. If they have a problem with an existing law or policy, they don't change it -- they just ignore it.

That attitude is at the crux of their argument against Arizona's illegal alien law -- they are insisting not only is the enforcement of immigration is the exclusive prerogative of the federal government, but that the executive branch also has the right to refuse to enforce it.

It's as if they do not recognize a portion of the legally-mandated oath of office. Here's the presidential version:

"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."

The Constitution is pretty clear, in Article Two, Section 3:

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

(Emphasis added)

The problem is, how does one enforce that? What options do we (as in "those of us not in the executive branch") have to deal with a president who just plain refused to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed?"

Well, first up is impeachment. Obama took the oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, and to carry out the duties of his office. He's not only failing to do so, but refusing and fighting for the "right" to not carry out his duties. That ought to be an impeachable offense.

But realistically, that ain't gonna happen. Even on a strictly partisan basis, it ain't possible. Even if the Republicans do manage to take both Houses, impeachment and conviction reqauires a majority of the House and two-thirds of the Senate. There is no one who's predicting that the Republicans will pick up 26 Senate seats.

And impeachment isn't a strictly partisan matter. There are a lot of politicians who understand that impeachment is a political WMD -- and the consequences of using it anything less than the most dire circumstances would be dire indeed. Just getting a majority of the House to vote to impeach -- even with a Republican majority -- is highly unlikely.

So, what other choices do we have?

I am normally loath to call for such a thing, but I think taking an expansive view of the Constitution -- or, at least, talking about doing so -- might be worth looking into. More specifically, the 10th Amendment.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

I don't think that it would be too much of a stretch to say that when the federal government specifically refuses to carry out a duty, then that duty should devolve to the several states.

If someone has an obligation and refuses to live up to it, the obligation doesn't go away. If that obligation is to do something necessary, the necessity doesn't go away simply because the person whose job it is doesn't feel like it.

Our immigration laws need enforcing.

Our border needs securing.

And both are the responsibility of the federal government.

None of those are disputable.

But what happens when the federal government refuses to do so? And then takes it even further, and demands that no one else do it, either?

The proper, traditional, American response is to tell DC to go pound swampland. (I know the phrase is "pound sand," but DC was built on a swamp.) When something needs doing, we do it.

This not completely unprecedented. President Jackson once had a dispute with the Supreme Court over the treatment of Indians in Georgia. It's reported (but unconfirmed) that he said of the Chief Justice, "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!"

But in the end, Jackson found a way to get what he wanted without directly conflicting with the Supreme Court. The Obama administration, on the other hand, seems to believe that it is exempt from the checks and balances inherent in the Constitution, and that the Executive Branch can make de facto changes in the law by controlling when laws are enforced and when they are not -- and, more specifically, by whom.

It's a very, very, very bad notion. I had hoped that Arizona's move to pick up the slack would serve as a wake-up call to this move, but apparently it won't.

At least, not yet.


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Comments (20)

Alright...Im bold ... (Below threshold)
914:

Alright...

Im bold enough. Barry Marxwater goes thru with this and I predict 26 seats will be picked up and he will be kicked to the curb and have to shack up with his brother.

Who just happen's to be the honest one between the 2 I might add.

Jan Brewer should have IGNO... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

Jan Brewer should have IGNORED the Clinton appointee's ruling and implemented the law.

OLDPUPPYMAX: "Jan Brewer... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

OLDPUPPYMAX: "Jan Brewer should have IGNORED the Clinton appointee's ruling and implemented the law."

that's exactly what it's going to take. and if the Obama Regime does it's end-around on illegal immigration she will have no choice if she is to save her State.

Barry keeps ignoring laws, ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Barry keeps ignoring laws, what's he going to do when people start IGNORING him?

Interesting. CNN and the re... (Below threshold)
914:

Interesting. CNN and the rest of the libs are trying to end around the electoral college to stay in power with the popular vote carrying the election against State's right's.

Funny how they want the popular/majority to work in National election's but ignore the majority in AZ for a minority illegal position.

The only way this get's done is to ignore Barry and Holder just like they ignore election crimes and the Constitution and force their Marxist reaction.

THEY LOSE!!

Hey, this is just like the ... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Hey, this is just like the Mark Rich pardon - times 20 million! Maybe Barry could just pardon all felons, so that those who now are barred from voting because of their convictions will be able to reelect him. (In Iowa, the governor already restored the voting rights of felons through the same type of process.) Barry's version of the Constitution (edited by AG Holder) says: "...he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, except those that might adversely impact his core constituency..."

That ought to be an impe... (Below threshold)

That ought to be an impeachable offense.

And it's for the jillionth time, but somehow I'm still amazed: all the impeachable offenses of Bush and Cheney that were swept under the rug. But the Obama administration not doing what right-wingers want? That's completely justified impeachment.

Do you guys have any short-term memory at all?

"jim jx-Do you guy... (Below threshold)
914:

"jim jx-

Do you guys have any short-term memory at all?"


Yes I do. And I dont seem to recall Bush/cheney/rumsfeld's axis of evil usurping the US constitution ever let alone every other day like Mr. jackyl ear's is.


"Do you guys have any short... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Do you guys have any short-term memory at all?"

Obviously you don't. Every time your Obamassiah has blown a promise or a pledge, you're right there, down on your knees giving him a BJ.

Or don't you remember?

Just an observation. <br /... (Below threshold)
Grace:

Just an observation.
The Arizona law is staying in the spotlight.
This administration is losing more and more support of average Americans who believe in law enforcement.
This is even more of a wake-up call to the citizens than if the law had been upheld.
Bad decision for Arizona in the short term, good decision in the long term for all of the country.

914, of course you don't re... (Below threshold)

914, of course you don't remember the Bush/Cheney admin usurping the Constitution. That's my whole point - **you don't care if he did because you like him**.

For instance, when Bush transfered $700 million from the Afghanistan war effort to preparations for Iraq war **before** Congressional approval to invade Iraq. Which is a **clear** violation of the Constitution, as Congress is supposed to hold the purse strings. And not an executive, even if he says God is telling him to invade Iraq.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/04/15/60minutes/main612067.shtml

Where were you then, if the Constitution matters so much to you?

And Garandfan, please allow... (Below threshold)

And Garandfan, please allow me to knock Bush and Cheney's swordfighting penisii out of your mouth, before you give Cheney a 7th heart attack:

Breaking a campaign promise is different from violating the Constitution. (Gasp! Didn't mean to shock you. You might want to sit down and think about it. Breath slow. It'll be ok.)

Jim X, totally wrong as usu... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Jim X, totally wrong as usual. Believe me, if there was any teeth in the ability to prosecute Cheney, the liberals in congress would do so. They cannot.

I agree with the Arizona issue still in the news. Gov. Brewer will be a fine speaker in late October for close representative races. Just say: "Obama and the democratic congress do not want to enforce the laws. They don't care about legal citizens. I have an email in my hand proving it." The rest will be history. Thank God Obama is arrogant. ww

jim xj funny little troll t... (Below threshold)
Marc:

jim xj funny little troll that you are, can you answer a simple question (dumbed down just for you)?

The dems have had total control of congress (OH the horrors!!) since 2006 why haven't any charges been brought against McChimpyBushCoHalliChaney?

Not a single one, why?

You may also what to "highlite" all the charges filed with The Hague that you and your ilk were so sure to happen.

Wildwillie, totally missing... (Below threshold)

Wildwillie, totally missing the point as usual.

My point is: you guys are here screaming about how unconstitutional Obama is. Oh my God, the humanity about how he's doing x, y and z against the blessed Constitution.

But when GWB was in the office, where was this concern for the sanctity of law? Plainly, out the window - because **you liked him**.

So don't pretend you are actually concerned about the constitutionality of his policies. Face up and admit that you just don't like him, and want to impeach him simply because you do not like him.

I am normally loat... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:
I am normally loath to call for such a thing, but I think taking an expansive view of the Constitution -- or, at least, talking about doing so -- might be worth looking into. More specifically, the 10th Amendment.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

I mostly agree with you here, except for that word "expansive". Actually, what you are advocating, and rightly so, is a more restrictive look at the constitution. One where the federal government is more limited in its reach, and one where the state governments, as the sovereigns that they are, are more powerful.

Grace @ 4:32 - I totally ag... (Below threshold)
Walter Cronanty:

Grace @ 4:32 - I totally agree. When I first heard about this decision I was outraged that a state was being denied the opportunity to protect its people when the feds refused to do their job. But after I cooled down, it occurred to me that Obummer's big court victory [his moratorium on deep-drilling was deep-sixed, but quick] is a blessing in disguise. The vast, vast majority of people view the economy as issue no. 1 [and issues 2-5]. Most of the non-border voters don't even think about "immigration reform", unless forced to do so. But when they do think about it, they overwhelmingly do not side with illegals. So here we have Obummer focused on an issue which is not what the voters want him focused on, AND he's on the wrong side. I hope it goes up to the USSupCt. What a great campaign issue. For such a genius, he's a tone-deaf maroon.

Now now folks, let just bre... (Below threshold)
rich K:

Now now folks, let just breath deep here.The best thing we ever did was let the morons and moronetts like jimbo elect the Candy Man.
Now an entire nation gets to see how a command style economy works in a reasonably free state.
Its like that old gag thet used to do with delinquent kids where they took them to rikers or some other local prison to scare them straight about crime.
Cause if what these clowns are doing isnt a crime I dont think we got our defenitions right.

.... England and France wer... (Below threshold)

.... England and France were allies in 1939, but England still invaded France in 1944 ....

Would that have been about the time America and its Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, East African, South African, and various other allies -- and some American-equipped British forces -- began our European liberation?

Yes dickie K, that's true t... (Below threshold)

Yes dickie K, that's true that the best thing you ever did was "let us elect" Obama - who you are apparently implying is Sammy Davis Jr., for reasons that I'm sure have nothing to do with race.

Of course, you didn't actually "let us" elect him. You fought as hard as you could against it. And you lost - because GWB was that awful as a President.

You don't like it? Start putting up sane, smart candidates. McCain/Palin don't cut it. You have to win independents too, you see - and independents ran from them like the burning building they are.

The trouble with getting sane, smart candidates is that they will tell you things that you conservatives apparently don't want to hear. Barry Goldwater would be a Leftist to the current GOP. A true conservative, he'd be unwelcome for his stance on gay marriage alone.




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