by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
George Leef’s latest Forbes column focuses on a challenge to President Obama’s misguided approach to the presidency.
Nixon’s view that presidential authority was almost limitless, summed up in his famous statement caught on tape, “If the president does it, it’s not illegal,” was completely at odds with the Constitution’s provisions for the scope of executive power in Article II. The president does not get to change the Constitution to suit his desires. At least, he shouldn’t.
Compared with Barack Obama, however, Richard Nixon was a minor leaguer when it comes to the use of the Oval Office to remake the law. Obama has again and again acted in ways that mock the Constitution’s limits on the power of the presidency. Professor David Bernstein’s recent book Lawless, which I discussed here, catalogues the most egregious of his violations.
During the last few weeks, I’m glad to say, several legal challenges have been mounted against Obama’s unilateral actions: on immigration policy, on the sales of firearms, on his claim of executive privilege regarding the “Fast and Furious” gun operation, and on the decision to prevent construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
A medical analogy to these cases would be that it is like seeing a patient’s immune system finally kick in to fight a terrible infection.