This column presents facts regarding the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Wisconsin State Constitution, and various other documents in reference to modern topics. Mark hopes to encourage interest in those works so that others can consider whether our government is practicing within its constitutional limits. In the last category, he may indicate his opinion. Mark is a resident of New Berlin. Readers are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information on the United States Constitution and Thomas Jefferson's views on politics and government.
According to CBS News; June 17, 2012
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean praised President Obama's new policy to provide work permits to children of undocumented immigrants, saying it's good policy and good politics.
"This is a brilliant move on the president's part, because Governor Romney is on record as saying he would veto the DREAM Act," Dean said on "Face the Nation," referring to the Democrats' legislation to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented youth.
"If he says anything in favor of what the president did, he will alienate the right wing, which has been his problem all along; and if he denies what the president has said, he digs a deeper hole with Latinos," Dean said.
"I think this is the end of the road for Governor Romney," he concluded.
However, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said the president's move was "breathtaking."
"I don't think it's a brilliant move when the president of the United States tells a federal agency stop enforcing the law," Graham said. "I do believe it is breathtaking that a president of the United States would say 'stop enforcing the law.'"
On the same program, Romney said the president's plan is a "stop-gap measure," but refused to specify what he would do to address immigration, instead saying he would "work with Congress."
"What I would do, is I'd make sure that by coming into office I would work with Congress to put in place a long-term solution for the children of those that have come here illegally," Romney said.
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FoxNews.com; June 20, 2012
Republican lawmakers aren't just uneasy about the Obama administration's move to grant a reprieve to thousands of illegal immigrants who came here as children. Several say they're not even sure it's legal.
Twenty Republican senators fired off a letter to President Obama on Tuesday asking a string of questions about the legal basis for the policy change.
"Not only do we question your legal authority to act unilaterally in this regard, we are frustrated that you have intentionally bypassed Congress and the American people," Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and the other senators wrote.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, followed up with a letter to Obama Wednesday, likewise asking for legal opinions backing up what he described as "amnesty."
Smith wrote that the move "represents a breach of faith with the American people and our Constitution, blatantly ignoring the rule of law and the separation of powers that are the foundations of our democracy."
Meanwhile, the president's announcement threw into question an effort by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to draft a similar measure -- only in Congress.
Rubio told Fox News on Wednesday that the administration's decision, though, did not strike a balance.
"The biggest problem I have with it is that (Obama) ignores the Constitution and the Congress and shoves it down our throat," the senator said.
But Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and co-author of several state anti-illegal immigration laws, told Fox Business Network that the administration is "breaking federal law."
He pointed to a section in federal law he says states "very clearly that the president's administration cannot grant this sort of amnesty or cannot refuse to place in deportation proceedings an alien in this situation, who's illegally in this country."
The President vs. The Constitution
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.
To quote Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776
But where says some is the King of America? I'll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain...let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America THE LAW IS KING.
According to usconstitutiononline.net
Executive Orders have two main functions: to modify how an executive branch department or agency does its job (rule change) or to modify existing law, if such authority has been granted to the President by Congress.
US Constitution; Article I; Section 8 - (an excerpt)
(The Congress shall have Power To) establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
From James Madison’s quote of Montesquieu in Federalist 47
From these facts, by which Montesquieu was guided, it may clearly be inferred that, in saying "There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates,"
We the People:
A president may not change a law through executive orders unless Congress expressly provides the authority on a specific item. Doing so without authorization violates the Constitution. And every time a president does so, a new reference is established for future violations. Are we going to reward leaders for political brilliance; or for respecting the limits to their power and adhering to their oaths of office?