by KrisAnne Hall, JD
In the finest tradition of tyrannical Kings from whom the people wrestled liberty throughout history, President Obama has declared ultimate executive power. On Monday, October 24, 2011 to an audience in Nevada, Obama said;
“I’m here to say to all of you and to say to the people of Nevada and the people of Las Vegas, we can’t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act, I will,” Obama said., “I’ve told my administration to keep looking every single day for actions we can take without Congress…”
It won’t be shocking to those who understand the Constitution that there is no clause within in the Constitution that says, “If the Congress fails to act, then the President can assume their delegated legislative authority.” But this abuse of power is nothing new for Obama, nor is it new in the struggle for Liberty. In 1213 Archbishop Stephen Langton stood with the 1100 Charter of Liberties in hand and boldly resisted the tyrannical actions of King John I. Two years later, in 1215, the Magna Carta was born, and a group of 25 barons sowed the seeds of representative government.
The idea that the people could somehow restrain the power of the King, through representation and a written declaration, was an affront to the King. The King believed it was his God-given right to dictate to the ignorant masses what was best for them. The Kings, in fact, believed that documents like the 1100 Charter of Liberties, the Magna Carta and the Grand Remonstrance were “fundamentally flawed.”
Fortunately, the people knew that Liberty was a fundamental gift from God and they stood against tyranny and gained greater protections with each successive battle, all the way from 1100 through 1776 and beyond. This has been a continual struggle. From King John, to King Charles I, to King George III the tyrants continued to ignore the foundational documents of liberty and disband the parliament when the King’s personal whims were not served.
The current American executive from his castle in Washington, D.C. is apparently asserting his own Divine Right to shape the nation according to his will. His assertion that he will, in effect, enact legislation “without Congress” is a de facto dismissal of the Legislative branch in the finest tradition of Charles I.
Charles dismissed his first two Parliaments under Royal Prerogative during the Eleven Years Tyranny. He continually imposed forced taxes on the people without the consent of parliament and began to dictate in the area of religious liberty. He dismissed the third Parliament who opposed his inclination to fund his unilateral military engagements. Charles ultimately lost his head and his reign of tyranny came to an end.
Our Constitution intentionally denied the office of the president autonomous power. If you read the Constitution, the only autonomous power to be exercised by the president was the authority to issue pardons for federal crimes. Every other power to be exercised by the executive was only through the advice and consent of one or both houses of Congress. This was intentional and based upon great wisdom and a culmination of almost a century of experience. There was a great concern that over time the president would gradually accumulate more and more power to the point that he would be perceived by the people as being all responsible and all powerful, and then he would operate with the same power and authority as a king. Listen to the words of the creators of the executive branch as they explain WHY the president is extremely limited in his authority via the Constitution:
“The safety of the people in a republic depends on the share or proportion they have in the government; but experience ought to teach you, that when a man is at the head of an elective government invested with great powers, and interested in his re-election, in what circle appointments will be made; by which means an imperfect aristocracy bordering on monarchy may be established.” Anti-Federalist #67
“The constitution supposes, what the History of all Govts demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, & most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the Legislature.” James Madison to Thomas Jefferson 2 Apr. 1798
The president is tasked with making suggestions to the Congress, he is not empowered to make demands or circumvent the legislative authority. The president is able to veto a law, but his veto can be overturned by Congress. The president is not authorized to write laws, make laws, or overturn laws that are constitutionally valid.
“The President of the United States is to have power to return a bill, which shall have passed the two branches of the legislature, for reconsideration; and the bill so returned is to become a law, if, upon that reconsideration, it be approved by two thirds of both houses. The king of Great Britain, on his part, has an absolute negative upon the acts of the two houses of Parliament.” Federalist #69
Executive orders of a president are not equivalent to law, nor can they change or eliminate a law constitutionally created by Congress. Executive orders were created so the president, as the leader of the executive branch, could send orders and instructions to agencies and agents within the executive branch. Any executive order that attempts to alter or eliminate a law constitutionally created by Congress; any executive order that attempts to exercise authority over a person or a State outside the executive agency, is an unlawful executive order, contrary to the Constitution, and is therefore invalid.
The president is only authorized to spend the money Congress apportions to the executive branch, therefore any debt incurred by the federal government is not the product of the president, but due to the spending of Congress.
“The one (President) can prescribe no rules concerning the commerce or currency of the nation; the other (a King) is in several respects the arbiter of commerce, and in this capacity can establish markets and fairs, can regulate weights and measures, can lay embargoes for a limited time, can coin money, can authorize or prohibit the circulation of foreign coin.” Federalist #69
The American colonists didn’t simply separate themselves from Great Britain, they declared independence from kings forever. Their purpose was to ensure the Blessings of Liberty not just to themselves, but to all future generations. They knew the only way to do that would be to keep the president very limited in power. Their purpose was that America would never again have a king.
To disregard the history and wisdom that created our Constitution, the federal government, and our Constitutional Republic because of convenience, perceived necessity, or tribalism, is to transmute America into something it was never intended to be and allow a government with no limits, standards, or accountabilities. We should take to hear the wisdom of William Pitt when he said in 1783:
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”
For the democrats to support this kind of unconstitutional usurpation of legislative authority highlights their love for power and personality over the strict and reasoned delegation of powers through the Constitution. For the president to cite “necessity” to override the Constitution and ignore the duty of Congress is a violent attack on the essential doctrine of Separation of Powers. James Madison, quoting political philosopher Montesquieu, was very direct with his words regarding separation of powers:
“There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates…” Federalist #47
There was a reason for the sweeping defeat in the 2010 elections. We put representatives in office who would be a roadblock to the policies that have steamrolled their way over the Constitution, liberty, and prosperity in America. King Obama is once again lawlessly sidestepping the people’s roadblocks. Your Highness, trespassing is only tolerated for so long! We will end your reign of tyranny in the ballot box in 2012!
Author’s Note: This article was originally written in 2011, based upon a constant and confident assertion by then president, Barack Obama. I kept this article for 3 reasons. 1. It lays out essential truths regardling presidential authority and separation of powers. 2. It shows, through current events, that human nature never changes and history always repeats. 3. We must learn the axiomatic truths illustrated by this history and our own current events so we can once and for all shed the tendancy for and dependency upon a government that wants to rule over us.