Obama's time for immigration action

I support the President’s commitment to address this issue provided his actions are consistent with his duty under the Constitution to faithfully execute our laws. Determining the limits of the president’s inherent power to act in the absence of either an express constitutional or congressional grant of authority is one of the most difficult challenges in constitutional law. In part, this is because our courts have been inconsistent in defining the scope of the President’s inherent authority. (search “the courts’ abandonment of judicial review that limits Congress’s power…”)

Some constitutional scholars argue that the president has no inherent power since this would be inconsistent(search “unlike English kings, lack authority”) with the concept of a Constitution intended to create a federal government of limited power. Others believe in an expansive inherent power that allows the president to act as the public needs demand(search “role of the leadership to provide guidance”) provided there are no express constitutional prohibitions. Still others believe, as I do, the scope of the president’s inherent power lies somewhere along the spectrum between these two extremes.

What is clear, however, is that the courts have generally been inclined to defer to the executive’s discretion in executing the law based upon competing priorities and budgetary constraints. Furthermore, often the courts refuse to even hear cases that present a political question. Thus, disputes over allocation of power between the elected branches are frequently resolved in the public arena, not the courts.