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.
As reported by - FOXNews.com - December 16, 2009 (full article available on-line)
“President Obama's mission to save the planet from global warming could end up trampling on the U.S. Constitution, critics say.
When Obama arrives in Copenhagen Friday, he is hoping to cut a deal on a new global-warming agreement. Even though the conference is not likely to produce a legally binding deal, critics say if the president signs an international climate treaty pledging reductions in carbon emissions, he will violate the Constitution.
The Constitution states that the president cannot sign treaties without the approval of two-thirds of the Senate. But with climate change legislation stuck in the Senate after the House passed its version earlier this year, the White House is flirting with the possibility of taking action without Congress.
Last week, on the day the climate summit opened in Denmark, the EPA formally declared that greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide are a danger to human health -- a finding that could pave the way for massive new regulations under the Clean Air Act for cars, power plants, crude-oil refineries and chemical plants.
Democratic Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, co-author of the House climate change bill, told Fox News that the Obama administration has the power to act without Congress through the EPA.
"It's no longer a question of legislation or no legislation," he told Fox News' Chris Wallace. "It is now a question of legislation or regulation. The EPA can act.”
President Obama vs. Constitutional limitations on the power of the executive branch.
The Constitution, rticle II, Section 2 –
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
The Constitution, Article II, 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.
We the People:
The remaining Constitutional powers are reserved to the states and the people per the tenth amendment, and to the Legislative and Judicial branches. The Obama administration is flaunting enormous power by defining carbon dioxide as a pollutant without Constitutional authorization; and our elected officials in Congress are not challenging it. “Government out of control” means government not of the people. In such rare instances it is the duty of the people to remove them from office.