It’s always nice to wrap up the weekend on a high note, and I know a lot of you have been worried about the future of the country. Fear not, citizens. Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland went on State of the Union today to reassure us that everything is just fine. When asked whether or not the President was doing his job of enforcing the laws of our nation, the response was definitive and unequivocal.
Representative Aaron Schock (R., Ill.) challenged his two Democratic colleagues on the panel, Donna Edwards of Maryland and Beto O’Rourke of Texas, to go on the record to say whether President Obama is truly acting in good faith to execute the laws of the Congress.
”You want a short answer to that?” Edwards responded. “Absolutely, we believe the president is faithfully executing the laws.”
See? You’ve been worried about nothing all of this time.
This does evoke some of the issues being raised in the pending lawsuit by John Boehner, though. (And ties into the last thread about impeachment after a fashion.) How far astray can a President go in terms of enforcing the laws before it’s too far? And what are the limits of executive power when exercising “options” in that area? The President has issued more than a few signing statements when bills make their way into law. (And before the usual suspects speak up, yes… I know that Bush had more of them than Obama, yada yada yada.) But this is a question which should apply to all presidents.
And what of making changes on the fly to laws without going through Congress, e.g. Obamacare? Are you still “enforcing the laws” which were passed in the legislative branch if you claim the ability to amend them on the fly? Doesn’t sound that way to me, but I’m sure there’s an army of lawyers in DC who will figure out a way to parse it and say otherwise.
In any event, I’ll leave this out there for you to chew over and come to your own conclusions. I doubt we’ll get a definitive answer from the courts in our lifetimes.