Published May 08, 2015
The increasing lawlessness with which President Barack Obama has been acting in his second term is not going unnoticed.
In fact, in a strong rebuke last week to the unilateral actions being taken by the Obama administration, a federal appeals court came down hard on the administration’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission by ruling that delaying a decision on a proposed nuclear waste storage facility was in violation of federal law. In the majority opinion, the judges declared that the administration was “simply flouting the law,” and that President Obama “may not decline to follow a statute or prohibition simply because of policy objections.”
President Obama’s fall from grace as the candidate elected to rein in executive power in 2008 is more than tragic – it sets scary new precedents for the behavior of future presidents from either party.
Just take for example how President Obama has selectively enforced his own health care law:
At a press conference before the President left town on vacation, he was asked about his decision to pick and choose what parts of the law he enforced. His response was that, “in a normal political environment,” he would have contacted the Speaker of the House and asked for help to “tweak” the law. One must wonder what the President considers a “normal” political environment – is it one where his party controls the House and has a super majority in the Senate?
Again, the precedent these actions set for future administrations should scare all Americans. And they should worry the President as well. If President Obama can unilaterally decide which parts of the law he must enforce, what is to prevent the next president, regardless of party, from unilaterally deciding to not enforce these and other laws passed by Congress? And how far is he willing to test Americans’ patience with his increasingly imperial presidency?
Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee's 6th congressional district and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years.