While it wasn’t made in public, at some point along the way President Obama must have made an oath to undermine and patently violate the U.S. Constitution at every opportunity available.
On January 4, 2012, the president committed his most blatant and obvious violation of our Constitution to date by making four appointments without the advice or consent of the U.S. Senate, even while the Senate was in session and available. In fact, one of his unconstitutional appointees had already been rejected by the Senate: Richard Cordray as head of the newly invented Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Obama even neglected to consult the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the appointments until after they were made and publicly recognized adjudication would follow his unconstitutional appointments. Mr. Obama knew the appointments were unconstitutional. After all, he was a senator when, in 2007, Majority Leader Harry Reid, a member of Obama’s own party, stated he was going to keep the Senate in a pro forma session to prevent President Bush from making recess appointments. On January 4, 2012, the Senate was in a pro forma session, which should have prevented President Obama from making recess appointments.
But nothing can stop a secular-socialist on a mission. Certainly not that dusty old U.S. Constitution.
Despite the efforts of Senators Chuck Grassley and Mike Lee to draw attention to the issue, Obama’s unconstitutional appointments are not generating the kind of outrage they should. Perhaps Americans have grown accustomed to Obama’s utter disregard for the very governing document he is sworn to uphold.
Most troubling? His actions are creating a precedent that, if left unchecked and unchallenged, may well destroy the fabric of our great constitutional republic. Our Founding Fathers envisioned and created a Constitution grounded with checks and balances. Of course, to Mr. Obama, checks and balances represent an encumbrance to the fulfillment of the “progressive” agenda.
Shamefully, Obama’s unconstitutional appointments are merely one example in a long list of unconstitutional overreaches he has committed in the past three years:
● Obama’s signature initiative, Obamacare, violates the Constitution by forcing individuals to purchase health insurance.
● Obama’s HHS violated the First Amendment by requiring employers to cover contraceptives, abortifacients and sterilization in the health insurance they provide their employees, despite their religious and moral objections. He later shifted the mandate to the insurance companies, requiring all plans to cover such services, thinking Americans would not understand that the mandate still requires faith-based groups to subsidize services to which they have sincere religious and moral objections.
● The Obama administration violated the First Amendment when it refused a grant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for helping victims of human trafficking obtain food, clothing and access to medical care because of the Conference’s pro-life position. In fact, the Conference was refused the grant despite having received higher scores of effectiveness than the grant’s recipients.
● Obama told the Department of Justice not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which was passed by a bipartisan Congress. Instead, the DOJ argued against the valid law (which has been upheld by multiple courts), forcing the House of Representatives to hire outside counsel to defend the law. This gross abrogation of a president’s constitutional duty to defend and protect the laws of the land was unprecedented.
● Obama signed Dodd-Frank into law, which allows the government’s seizure of property, violating the Due Process Clause of the Constitution and creating administrative positions that are not vetted by the Senate as required by the Appointments Clause.
● When the Democrat-led Congress would not pass net neutrality, Obama’s Federal Communications Commission violated the Constitution by contravening Congress to restrict the freedom of Internet service providers to manage their network transmissions.
● When the Democrat-led Congress could not pass cap and trade, Obama’s EPA decided to auction greenhouse gas allowances, essentially imposing a tax on emissions, which, according to the Constitution, can only be done by Congress. You will also recall Congress having to act to halt the EPA’s ban on incandescent light bulbs.
● When the Democrat-led Congress did not pass the Employee Free Choice Act, Obama contravened Congress by pushing the NLRB to pass regulations that allowed for “ambush elections” and required employers to provide employee e-mail addresses and phone numbers to union organizers.
● When the Democrat-led Congress refused to pass the Dream Act, the Obama White House and DHS decided to implement a policy of granting illegal aliens stays of refusal, which is essentially amnesty by fiat. The Obama policy even gives local immigration officials the authority to dismiss deportation cases against illegal alien criminals convicted of violent crimes.
● Without the approval of Congress, as required by the Constitution, Obama ordered the U.S. military to attack Libya.
Over the course of the last three years, President Obama has continuously, shamelessly and brazenly trampled the U.S. Constitution in pursuit of his hard-left ideological wish list. His latest affronts to our most sacred document are among his most egregious; namely, his unconstitutional executive appointments and mandating that religious groups violate their sincerely held religious beliefs by providing insurance policies that cover birth control, sterilization and abortifacients.
President James Madison once said: “There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.”
President Obama didn’t know James Madison. Clearly, though, James Madison did know President Obama.
Mandi Campbell is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. She is director of public policy for Liberty Counsel Action and legal director of the Liberty Center for Law and Policy.