John Boehner, knowing that after saying a law suit would be filed against President Obama, knew he had to present specifics to the American public if we were to support such an action.
To this end, he recently wrote a commentary piece for CNN doing just that.
It is 12 paragraphs in length, so you just know it would have to be very specific with clearly articulated charges.
These are the specific points he put forth:
“Too often over the past five years, the President has circumvented the American people and their elected representatives through executive action, changing and creating his own laws, and excusing himself from enforcing statutes he is sworn to uphold — at times even boasting about his willingness to do it, as if daring the American people to stop him".
This is his premise. The following is his support of it.
“That’s why, later this month, we will bring legislation to the House floor that would authorize the House of Representatives to file suit in an effort to compel President Obama to follow his oath of office and faithfully execute the laws of our country".
“Even worse, the President’s habit of ignoring the law as written hurts our economy and jobs even more. Washington taxes and regulations always make it harder for private sector employers to meet payrolls, invest in new initiatives and create jobs — but how can those employers plan, invest and grow when the laws are changing on the President’s whim at any moment? I don’t take the House legal action against the President lightly. We’ve passed legislation to address this problem (twice), but Senate Democrats, characteristically, have ignored it".
Boehner did not mention even ONE case where the president broke a law, and this after working toward having a case to file for 6 months.
Basically Boehner has announced that the president is breaking laws and this lawbreaking has dire consequences on the republic, and the examples of this are that he is breaking laws, and the proof of that is that President Obama is breaking laws.
Imagine someone telling you "I know you did something because I know you did something, and my poof is that I know it".
This is his whole commentary.
Like looking for Waldo, find the specific examples of the president’s breaking a specific law that would justify the law suit. I will help.
“Every member of Congress swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So did President Barack Obama.
But too often over the past five years, the President has circumvented the American people and their elected representatives through executive action (such as?), changing and creating his own laws (for example?), and excusing himself from enforcing statutes he is sworn to uphold (Which ones?) -- at times even boasting about his willingness to do it, as if daring the American people to stop him.
That's why, later this month, we will bring legislation to the House floor that would authorize the House of Representatives to file suit in an effort to compel President Obama to follow his oath of office and faithfully execute the laws of our country.
The President's response: "So sue me."
What's disappointing is the President's flippant dismissal of the Constitution we are both sworn to defend (For example?). It is utterly beneath the dignity of the office. I know the President is frustrated. I'm frustrated. The American people are frustrated, too.
After years of slow economic growth and high unemployment under President Obama, they are still asking, 'where are the jobs?' The House has passed more than 40 jobs bills that would help (Such as?). But Washington Democrats, led by the President, just ignore them.
Even worse, the President's habit of ignoring the law as written hurts our economy and jobs even more (Examples?). Washington taxes and regulations always make it harder for private sector employers to meet payrolls, invest in new initiatives and create jobs -- but how can those employers plan, invest and grow when the laws are changing on the President's whim at any moment? (For example?)
I don't take the House legal action against the President lightly. We've passed legislation to address this problem (twice), but Senate Democrats, characteristically, have ignored it.
In the end, the Constitution makes it clear that the President's job is to faithfully execute the laws. And, in my view, the President has not faithfully executed the laws when it comes to a range of issues, including his health care law, energy regulations, foreign policy and education (And those ignored laws would be?).
There must be accountability. We have a system of government outlined in our Constitution with the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. Congress has its job to do, and so does the President.
When there are conflicts like this (Like what?) -- between the legislative branch and the executive branch -- it is my view that it is our responsibility to stand up for this institution in which we serve, and for the Constitution.
If you look back over American history, there has always been a tension between the inherent powers of the executive branch versus the inherent powers of the legislative branch. This issue is as old as Marbury vs. Madison and as fresh as the unanimous Supreme Court ruling last week that the President overstepped his authority on recess appointments (Boehner announced the law suit before that court ruling. So it can't be a post facto reason).
Over the last five years, starting -- not coincidentally -- when his political party lost the majority in the House of Representatives, the President has consistently overstepped his authority under the Constitution, and in so doing eroded the power of the legislative branch (Again, what are those instances?).
The legislative branch has an obligation to defend the rights and responsibilities of the American people, and America's constitutional balance of powers -- before it is too late”.
Now I am sure that some will come up with their examples that they think might justify a law suit, and all power to them, but what are the reasons for which Boehner is doing it?
Is he hoping people will now offer justifications he can glean through to pick the one he likes best, as opposed to actually having specifics now?
And if he has those specifics, why take 12 paragraphs not to mention them?
Coming to Boehner’s aid, and attempting to give some substance to the claim that President Obama has broken the law, Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the proof is in the 13 times the Supreme Court has ruled that actions by Obama were illegal.
Senator Ted Cruz, claimed in a statement regarding the recent SCOTUS ruling about recess appointments,
“Today, the Supreme Court invalidated President Obama’s unlawful abuse of the President’s recess appointments power. President Obama ignored the plain text of the Constitution and attempted to make unilateral recess appointments—circumventing the checks and balances of confirmation—when the Senate was not, in fact, in recess. Today, a unanimous Court rightly rejected that presidential abuse of power. This marks the twelfth time since January 2012 that the Supreme Court has unanimously rejected the Obama Administration’s calls for greater federal executive power".
Goodlatte (whose office released the list of cases he claims the Supreme Court ruled against Obama on, claiming they dealt with his "overreach") and Cruz’s statement are based on SCOTUS rulings dealing with:
United States vs. Jones,
Sackett vs. EPA,
Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School vs. EEOC,
Gabelli vs. SEC,
Arkansas Fish & Game Commission v. United States,
PPL Corp. vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue,
Horne vs. USDA, and
Bond vs. United States.
Although this does not look good for Obama, these cases were initially begun by George W Bush’s Justice Department since the "overreach" these cases dealt with had occurred under the Bush administrations, and the cases were not completed in the appellate process until Obama was president.
As one person recently noted, you do not praise a fireman for putting out a fire he was responsible for because of arson. But, then again, you do not condemn a firefighter for the damage caused by the person who lit a fire because the fire was not put out until after some damage had been done.
Obviously these are not cases where Obama "exceeded his presidential authority", as Goodlatte claimed, because he wasn't president yet when the executive actions had been taken and the Bush administration began defending them..
It is also clear, if one bothers to look them up, that these cases do not deal with "presidential overreach".
The 2012 case that Cruz so eagerly referred to was actually the case in Arizona concerning that state’s immigration law. On three of the four sections of that law, SCOTUS sided with the Obama administration, while saying it was too early to decide on the fourth part which needed lower court observation.
"The Supreme Court struck down three of the four because they interfered with federal immigration enforcement, which was defended by the Obama administration to advocate for the laws passed by Congress", according to Stephen Wermiel, a constitutional law professor at American University.
Obviously, while Boehner is not giving out any specifics, Goodlatte and Cruz are confusing presidents, not a very uncommon strategy of late, and those who really want to believe will assemble a list of what they consider to be justification for the suit.
This list may or may not match that of Boehner, but how do we know since he did not release his list?