Lawlessness

One commenter suggested that the problem with current immigration law is that Congress has not been forced to act. I didn’t quite agree:

Current law enacted by Congress handles immigration reasonably well. It certainly prevents the current crisis. Except that it didn’t:

Current law is being ignored by President Obama. Immigration law has been long superseded by whim, by practice, and ultimately by unconstitutional executive branch regulations. They’re not even executive orders, and they are now being implemented in defiance of explicit court order.

Replacing the law with new law will not solve this — any law that would pass the current Congress and be signed by Obama would be one that fig-leafs his actions, and any part of it he found inconvenient he would ignore as he does now.

Constitutional scholars on the left and right agree, amazingly, that Obama’s lawless behavior has created the greatest challenge to the American governance system ever. I’ve been listening to Constitutional law debates. Here’s an MP3 from the Constitutional Law Center that is on point. One of the debaters is a prominent (left-leaning) scholar, but whose vocal style is rather tedious to listen to. Nevertheless, though he describes Obama as a centrist, he (like his debate opponent) recognizes Obama’s actions as creating a great Constitutional crisis.

The president has few friends in the Constitutional arena. It seems that to find someone who is so base, so corrupt, so evil as to actually support Obama’s actions, you’d have to locate a compromised personal buddy of the Obama administration and appoint her Attorney General.

Forcing Congress to “freeze immigration” does nothing. They no longer have a role in that arena.

Forcing Congress to stop the engagement of our troops does nothing. They no longer have a role in that arena.

Congress has abdicated the power of the purse. Republican congressional leaders announced this in November, as soon as the ballot results were in … that they had no intention of pursuing their campaign promises.

Congress has abdicated many other powers since, most recently the Senate’s power to approve treaties. Now it can only impotently watch, since their Constitutional “two-thirds must approve” has been turned into “two-thirds are needed to even complain.”

And the obvious solution, impeachment, scares them to death. It threatens voter disapproval … and thus their cushy jobs, and will never happen. And there is no intervening election between now and Obama’s planned departure.

As an aside, DeHavelle Amendment T, Term Limits, solves one aspect of this completely: No member of Congress nor the President may be re-elected to office except after a three-year intervening interval. (It’s effectively four years, as elections are a few months before inauguration day.)

No one in office will be campaigning or wasting time fundraising. And their attractiveness as the target of pay-for-play campaign support will be much reduced. I’m not worried about lack of experience; Lincoln had only been a one-term Congressman prior to becoming president, and that used to be standard practice. These days legislative aides and outside groups write the bills anyway.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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