Categories

Archive for the ‘The Constitution’ Category

This morning’s reading has included the latest information on how the Clintons used Hillary’s official position as head of the State Department to enrich the Clinton Foundation. After that, I read more about Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm’s fishing expedition into conservatives’ political activities. After I finished with that, I read this article about the federal government’s confiscation of Marvin Horne’s agricultural crop.

After reading these articles, it’s clear that progressive policies are ruining the United States. It’s equally clear that we won’t recognize the United States if these policies continue. The nation that our Founding Fathers will have been confiscated by progressive thugs who hate the Founding Fathers’ United States.

Let’s start by talking about the constitutional protections progressives threw into a trash can during Chisholm’s fishing expedition. The thugs (I won’t call them law enforcement officers) that raided Cindy Archer’s home told her she couldn’t talk about the raid to anyone and that she couldn’t get a lawyer to represent herself. Then they repeated these actions in 9 more homes. The thugs had search warrants but it’s questionable how valid they are. According to the Constitution, you need to tell the judge what evidence you have to get a warrant. Telling the judge ‘We think Ms. Archer has information that will help our investigation’ won’t cut it.

What’s worse is Ms. Archer being told that she couldn’t get an attorney. Here’s the text of the Sixth Amendment:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

Having thugs in uniforms tell Ms. Archer that she couldn’t talk with a lawyer is un-American and fascism.

KEY QUESTION: Do we want to live in a nation where the government is used as a weapon against citizens exercising their right to participate in the political process?

Next, let’s talk about the Clintons using Hillary’s position at the State Department for personal gain:

Was there a quid pro quo? Based on the Times reporting, there was certainly a lot of quid (millions in donations that made it to a Clinton charity; a half-million-dollar speaker’s fee) and multiple quos (American diplomatic intervention with the Russians; approvals when the Russian firm offered a very “generous” price for Uranium One). The Clinton perspective is that, although the approvals were delivered by the State Department when Clinton led it, there is no evidence that she personally delivered them, or of the “pro” in the equation.

The Clintons’ defense didn’t include an outright denial of wrongdoing. What’s telling about the Clintons’ denial is that it stopped short of denying that they were involved in influence peddling.

KEY QUESTION: Do we want to live in a nation where the well-connected get rich without contributing anything of value to the economy?

Finally, let’s look at how weaponized government confiscated agricultural products without compensating farmers for the products they produced. The Horne family raised lots of raisins on their farm. The USDA (US Department of Agriculture) ordered them to limit their production of raisins. When the Horne family refused to accept the government’s demands, the USDA fined them $700,000 for not obeying the government.

Farmers should have the right to grow however many crops as they want. The government shouldn’t be able to limit the quantity of products they produce. It’s the farmers’ property. It’s their right to do whatever they want to do with their property as long as they aren’t physically harming others.

KEY QUESTION: Did the Founding Fathers intend for the government to limit the size of an individual’s crops? Or did the Founding Fathers write the Constitution in such a way that limited the federal government’s authority in telling individuals what they could do?

When government can tell people that they don’t have the right to counsel, that government has confirmed that they’re a lawless regime. When government dictates to farmers what crops they can grow and how much of that crop they can grow, then that government has become the people’s dictator, not its servant. When individuals use their official government responsibilities to enrich themselves, then we’ve reached a point where those individuals have stopped being public servants.

It’s at that point when weaponized government must be defanged and the individuals involved in these activities must be stripped of their ability to enrich themselves. It’s imperative that citizens of good faith halt the Democrats’ culture of corruption.

When I first read David French’s article, my first reaction was that John T. Chisholm, the Milwaukee County District Attorney, should be disbarred, then tried and convicted, then thrown into prison for a very long time. Chisholm is a progressive political hack with a mission to destroy the conservative movement in Wisconsin:

Cindy Archer, one of the lead architects of Wisconsin’s Act 10 — also called the “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,” it limited public-employee benefits and altered collective-bargaining rules for public-employee unions — was jolted awake by yelling, loud pounding at the door, and her dogs’ frantic barking. The entire house — the windows and walls — was shaking. She looked outside to see up to a dozen police officers, yelling to open the door. They were carrying a battering ram.

She wasn’t dressed, but she started to run toward the door, her body in full view of the police. Some yelled at her to grab some clothes, others yelled for her to open the door. “I was so afraid,” she says. “I did not know what to do.” She grabbed some clothes, opened the door, and dressed right in front of the police. The dogs were still frantic. “I begged and begged, ‘Please don’t shoot my dogs, please don’t shoot my dogs, just don’t shoot my dogs.’ I couldn’t get them to stop barking, and I couldn’t get them outside quick enough. I saw a gun and barking dogs. I was scared and knew this was a bad mix.”

She got the dogs safely out of the house, just as multiple armed agents rushed inside. Some even barged into the bathroom, where her partner was in the shower. The officer or agent in charge demanded that Cindy sit on the couch, but she wanted to get up and get a cup of coffee. “I told him this was my house and I could do what I wanted.” Wrong thing to say. “This made the agent in charge furious. He towered over me with his finger in my face and yelled like a drill sergeant that I either do it his way or he would handcuff me.”

Last night, Megyn Kelly interviewed David French. Here’s the video of the interview:

Here’s the most chilling exchange of the interview:

MEGYN: Who was the judge that signed off on these subpoenas?
DAVID FRENCH: The judge’s name is Barbara Kluka, I believe is how you pronounce her name. She signed off on hundreds of pages of subpoenas in literally one afternoon of work. It was a rubberstamp process. It was not true judicial oversight and the result has been catastrophic to citizens’ rights.

French’s statement might be the understatement of the year. The things that are alleged, if they’re proven in a court of law, should be grounds for termination of the police officers and the disbarment of the judge and the district attorney.

The policeman (policemen?) who ordered Ms. Archer that she couldn’t speak with a lawyer and that she couldn’t speak about the police officers’ actions violated Ms. Archer’s constitutional right to an attorney. Saying that she couldn’t speak about the raid essentially amounts to putting a gag order on Ms. Archer. I’m no lawyer but aren’t gag orders meant to preserve the right to a fair trial?

In this instance, the purpose of the gag order was to protect these thugs’ secrecy. The only people that benefited were the thugs with badges.

This isn’t just about prosecutorial or judicial misconduct. It’s about how the Democratic Party weaponized the district attorney’s office and the Milwaukee police force to intimidate conservatives from speaking about the issues that matter most to them. That’s the heart of the First Amendment’s protections.

Finally, this is the face of pure evil. These Democrats should be destroyed politically. They should all spend years in prison doing hard time. Silencing people who just wanted to support a political issue is despicable.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This weekend, after he met with Raul Castro, President Obama continued his hate America tour, declaring that he was “very aware of the fact that there are dark chapters in our own history.”

There’s no doubt that this nation has seen dark chapters during its history. While the darkest of those dark chapters is either the Civil War or the bombing of Pearl Harbor, not all of this nation’s darkest chapters involve war. The Obama administration is one of those dark chapters.

Betraying Israel is a sad chapter in US history. President Obama has frequently betrayed Israel, whether it’s through revealing Israel’s sensitive nuclear secrets or by sending his political operatives to Israel to defeat Israel’s sitting prime minister. Frankly, betraying Israel is betraying the United States’ Judeo-Christian heritage.

Frequently ignoring the Constitution is another instance where the Obama administration has led the United States into a dark chapter in our nation’s history. No other administration has had the Supreme Court rule unanimously against their power grabs thirteen times. That’s a record that’s as likely to get broken as Cy Young’s 511 victories as a pitcher.

Negotiating a nuclear proliferation treaty with Iran, which is what John Kerry’s framework really is, is a betrayal of our allies in the region. That’s before talking about how it establishes Iran as the regional superpower. That’s before talking about how it endangers our national security by pumping new money into Iran’s coffers to support regional and worldwide terrorist attacks.

That’s before highlighting this foolish statement:

“The cold war has been over for a long time and I’m not interested in battles that have been over frankly, before I was born,” President Obama stated.

It’s stupid for President Obama to insist that the Cold War is over. Putin’s on the march, gobbling up huge parts of neighboring countries. Further, I’m interested in hearing him explain how the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, when he was 28 years old. Perhaps he didn’t notice because he was too busy selling cocaine?

The only potential positive that might come out of the Obama administration is the stench that will remind us we’ve survived a national nightmare of incredible intensity.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Just when I thought it was safe to listen to former State Sen. Steve Murphy again, he said something strikingly stupid. Friday night on Almanac’s Roundtable, Indiana’s RFRA law was brought up. Here’s what Murphy said:

I really don’t think nationally that we need any laws like that.

That isn’t just strikingly stupid. It’s frightening that a politician wouldn’t know that Bill Clinton signed RFRA into law in 1993 or that it passed the House unanimously and the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. Further, it’s frightening that a politician wouldn’t remember that RFRA was cited by Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision:

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) prohibits the “Government [from] substantially burden[ing] a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability” unless the Government “demonstrates that application of the burden to the person—(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.” 42 U. S. C. §§2000bb–1(a), (b). As amended by the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), RFRA covers “any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief.” §2000cc–5(7)(A).

Simply put, the government can’t force people to act against their religious beliefs unless the government can offer a compelling reason for restricting a person’s religious rights. Even if the government can provide a compelling reason for limiting a person’s religious beliefs, the government’s solution must be “is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

Earlier in the segment, Ember Reichgott-Junge said that “the Religious Right” is wise in not introducing RFRA legislation. I’d just recommend Sen. Reichgott-Junge read John Hinderaker’s post about RFRA. Specifically, she should read this part of John’s post:

The hysterical reaction to Indiana’s law can only be described as insane. As we noted here, there is a federal RFRA that governs federal laws, 19 states have their own RFRAs, and ten other states have adopted the “strict scrutiny” standard of the Indiana statute by judicial opinion. Governor Dayton is perhaps unaware that Minnesota is one of those ten states. Hill-Murray Fed’n of Teachers v. Hill-Murray High School, 487 N.W.2d 857, 865 (Minn. 1992); State v. Hershberger, 462 N.W.2d 393, 398 (Minn. 1990).

Remember that these are prominent former DFL state senators. When they’re sworn in, they swear an oath to “support the Constitution of the United States, the constitution of this state and to faithfully discharge the duties of his office to the best of his judgment and ability.” It’s impossible to support the US Constitution if you don’t know what’s in it.

Finally, Sen. Murphy is the guy who said that he wasn’t trying to hide tax increases in his transportation bill. He’s also famous for saying this:

“Everything is fun and games until someone gets an eye poked out, and the governor just poked out my eye by vetoing this bill,” said Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing. “I think that is a clear indication he wants a train wreck at the end of session. He wants the Legislature to fail, and he wants to blame us.”

Steve Murphy and Ember Reichgott-Junge’s ignorance of the Constitution and major Minnesota court cases are frightening, especially considering the fact that the DFL is the party that thinks government is the dispenser of good things. Frankly, these DFL has-beens couldn’t support the Constitution they wore to uphold.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

This video shows how little provocation it takes to get progressive totalitarians in a tizzy:

This week’s big flashpoint moment came from Indiana, when a progressive ‘reporter’ played into the storyline that Indiana’s RFRA law was horrible. John Hinderaker’s post is must reading on the subject:

Yesterday Minnesota’s governor, Mark Dayton, joined the chorus of denunciation: “‘I abhor the actions taken by the Legislature and governor of Indiana,’ Dayton told the Star Tribune.” Dayton, like a number of other governors, says he is considering a ban on official travel to Indiana. So Minnesota’s bureaucrats may no longer be able to take junkets to Terre Haute.

The hysterical reaction to Indiana’s law can only be described as insane. As we noted here, there is a federal RFRA that governs federal laws, 19 states have their own RFRAs, and ten other states have adopted the “strict scrutiny” standard of the Indiana statute by judicial opinion. Governor Dayton is perhaps unaware that Minnesota is one of those ten states. Hill-Murray Fed’n of Teachers v. Hill-Murray High School, 487 N.W.2d 857, 865 (Minn. 1992); State v. Hershberger, 462 N.W.2d 393, 398 (Minn. 1990).

Today, Michael Barone’s article offers this explanation for what’s at stake:

The Indiana law is substantially identical to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed by Congress by a near-unanimous vote in 1993 and signed with brio by Bill Clinton. It was a response to a Supreme Court decision upholding an Oregon drug law against members of the Native American Church who had claimed their religion requires drug use.

RFRA sets up a balancing test, to be employed by courts. Government cannot enforce a statute requiring people to violate their religious convictions unless it can demonstrate a compelling interest in doing so, and proceeds to do so by the least restrictive means possible.

This is in line with longstanding American tradition. The First Amendment, ratified in 1790, guaranteed Americans the “free exercise” of religion. The Framers knew that their new republic included Quakers, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, atheists, even perhaps a few Muslims. They wanted all to be free to live, not just worship, but live, according to their beliefs.

There’s little doubt that this week’s firestorm is purely political. These LGBT organizations know the laws on the books, though I can’t say the same about Gov. Dayton. As Barone says, RFRAs impose “a balancing test” for the judiciary to follow in determining whether the government can limit a person’s right to live out their religious beliefs. What RFRAs do, too, is tell government that they must use the least most intrusive remedy if they can demonstrate a “compelling interest” in limiting a person’s right to practice their religion.

This isn’t new. As Mr. Barone highlights, this “is in line with longstanding American tradition.” I’d hope that the judiciary wouldn’t take a sledgehammer to people’s religious rights. Apparently, that’s the remedy these LGBT activists want.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Conn Carroll’s article is frightening. Check this out:

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed Monday that President Obama is “very interested” in the idea of raising taxes through unilateral executive action.

“The president certainly has not indicated any reticence in using his executive authority to try and advance an agenda that benefits middle class Americans,” Earnest said in response to a question about Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) calling on Obama to raise more than $100 billion in taxes through IRS executive action.

“Now I don’t want to leave you with the impression that there is some imminent announcement, there is not, at least that I know of,” Earnest continued. “But the president has asked his team to examine the array of executive authorities that are available to him to try to make progress on his goals. So I am not in a position to talk in any detail at this point, but the president is very interested in this avenue generally,” Earnest finished.

The thought that President Obama “has asked his team to examine the array of executive authorities” on raising taxes without congressional approval is proof that he’s either a scofflaw or he isn’t the constitutional scholar he claims he is. Here’ the text of the heart of Article 1, Section 7:

SECTION. 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Article 1 of the Constitution deals exclusively with the Legislative Branch’s authorities and responsibilities. Here’s the only time anyone from the executive branch is mentioned in Article 1:

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

If it took President Obama’s team more than 15 minutes to determine “the array of executive authorities that are available to him” for unilaterally raising taxes, then they’re illiterate.

A first-year law student knows that the Executive Branch doesn’t have any authority to raise taxes, especially unilaterally.

The thought that a Democrat US senator sent President Obama a letter “imploring the Obama administration” to raise taxes through executive action is proof that Democrats hate the Constitution. President Obama’s overreaches have repeatedly gotten shot down unanimously by the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Democrats have sat quietly on the sidelines without dissenting.

The Democrats’ silence is deafening.

Technorati: , , , , , , ,

This polling says everything in terms of the Democratic Party’s utter disdain for the Constitution and their appreciation for anarchy:

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 26% of Likely U.S. voters think the president should have the right to ignore federal court rulings if they are standing in the way of actions he feels are important for the country. Sixty percent (60%) disagree and say the president should not have the right to ignore the courts. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

But perhaps more unsettling to supporters of constitutional checks and balances is the finding that 43% of Democrats believe the president should have the right to ignore the courts. Only 35% of voters in President Obama’s party disagree, compared to 81% of Republicans and 67% of voters not affiliated with either major party.

I’d bet the proverbial ranch that Rasmussen wouldn’t have gotten these results if Scott Walker were president. Democrats, aka the ‘ends-justifies-the-means-when-we’re-in-power-party, only care about the rule of law when a Republican is in the White House.

Imagine what the Democrats’ response would be if President Walker permanently suspended the ACA’s major provisions, starting with the employer and individual mandates, then continuing with the collection of revenues from the medical device manufacturers’ excise tax before finally writing a regulation that eliminates the requirements for the qualified health plans.

I’m betting that less than 10% of Democrats would think that Gov. Walker “should have the right to ignore the courts if he tried gutting the ACA. It’s all about whose ox is getting gored, isn’t it? Thinking that the laws apply to others but not to you is as anti-American as it gets. Either the law applies to everyone or there’s chaos and division.

President Obama and his supporters support splitting America. He’s worked on that since his inauguration. His divisiveness showed early. Rather than accepting suggestions from Republicans on his stimulus bill, he shafted them, saying that “I won.” President Obama’s my-way-or-the-highway style of governance took hit after hit in the courts on issues of presidential overreach. No other president has had 13 straight unanimous rulings go against him in the Supreme Court.

Even judges he appointed rejected his arguments in these cases.

Days before his election, President Obama said that he and his supporters were just days away from transforming America. While it’s true he changed the Democratic Party, he, thankfully, failed in changing America. The Democrats went from being the evil party to the party of lawlessness.

Eric Posner’s article is frightening from the standpoint that he thinks implementing speech codes at universities is justifiable because students are still children:

Lately, a moral panic about speech and sexual activity in universities has reached a crescendo. Universities have strengthened rules prohibiting offensive speech typically targeted at racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities; taken it upon themselves to issue “trigger warnings” to students when courses offer content that might upset them; banned sexual acts that fall short of rape under criminal law but are on the borderline of coercion; and limited due process protections of students accused of violating these rules.

Most liberals celebrate these developments, yet with a certain uneasiness. Few of them want to apply these protections to society at large. Conservatives and libertarians are up in arms. They see these rules as an assault on free speech and individual liberty. They think universities are treating students like children. And they are right. But they have also not considered that the justification for these policies may lie hidden in plain sight: that students are children. Not in terms of age, but in terms of maturity. Even in college, they must be protected like children while being prepared to be adults.

The frightening part of those paragraphs is that they aren’t the most frightening part of the article. Another thing that’s worth highlighting is that Posner thinks students are still immature children. If that’s true, then it’s proof that society has gotten soft. During WWII, teenagers helped defeat Nazi Germany and imperial Japan. Now their contemporaries aren’t capable of handling conflict? Seriously?

Check this paragraph out:

There is a popular, romantic notion that students receive their university education through free and open debate about the issues of the day. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Students who enter college know hardly anything at all—that’s why they need an education. Classroom teachers know students won’t learn anything if they blab on about their opinions. Teachers are dictators who carefully control what students say to one another. It’s not just that sincere expressions of opinion about same-sex marriage or campaign finance reform are out of place in chemistry and math class. They are out of place even in philosophy and politics classes, where the goal is to educate students (usually about academic texts and theories), not to listen to them spout off. And while professors sometimes believe there is pedagogical value in allowing students to express their political opinions in the context of some text, professors (or at least, good professors) carefully manipulate their students so that the discussion serves pedagogical ends.

It’s one thing to insist on order in the classroom. It’s another to attempt to “carefully control what students say to one another.” Order in the classroom is a must because it gives every student the ability to hear what’s being taught. Telling students what they can’t say is censorship with a different name.

Saying that “free and open debate” are “out of place even in philosophy and politics classes” isn’t just silly. It’s frightening because it’s fascism in the classroom. It leads to monolithic thinking. It produces cookie cutter classmates that think alike. That’s unacceptable.

Most important, it isn’t possible for Mr. Posner to produce proof that he’s right It isn’t possible because it doesn’t exist. It’s a theory in search of proof.

Notice the conflating of principles in this question:

If students want to learn biology and art history in an environment where they needn’t worry about being offended or raped, why shouldn’t they?

Everyone has the right to live in a society “where they needn’t worry about being” raped. One of the cornerstones of civil societies is public safety. Nobody has the right to live in a society “where they needn’t worry about being offended.” Living in an offense-free society isn’t possible. It’s also offensive to me from the perspective of who determines what’s offensive. Nobody is qualified to determine what’s offensive.

Technorati: , , , , ,

Michael Brodkorb’s article is insightful in that it highlights this week’s vote to delay Gov. Dayton’s decision to raise Gov. Dayton’s commissioners’ pay was a sham:

Let’s set the stage for Bakk’s tour de force performance. In 2013, the Minnesota Senate passed legislation – supported by Bakk – which would allow the Governor of Minnesota to set the salaries of commissioners. Dayton supported the legislation and said in a statement, “I have lost outstanding employees because someone else could offer them salaries 50 percent or even 100 percent higher than state government.”

After the legislation was passed, the commissioners received salary increases in 2013 and 2014. I could not find any public comments of concern about the salary increases from anyone, including Bakk. In January, Dayton again exercised the authority granted to him by Bakk and the Minnesota Legislature and he set salary increases to commissioners in 2015. But this time, Bakk cried foul.

As Michael said, this is political posturing. Last night on Almanac, the DFL’s panelists (Ellen Anderson and Ember Reichgott-Junge) attempted to downplay the Bakk-Dayton fight. The Senate vote is phony but the Bakk-Dayton fight is serious.

Here’s hoping that the House passes the Senate bill without amending it. That way, the bill goes immediately to Gov. Dayton’s desk, where he’s promised to veto the bill. After the legislature gets Gov. Dayton’s veto letter, they should immediately bring it up for a vote to override Gov. Dayton’s veto. Article IV, sec. 23 of Minnesota’s Constitution lays out the procedure for overriding a governor’s veto:

Sec. 23. Approval of bills by governor; action on veto. Every bill passed in conformity to the rules of each house and the joint rules of the two houses shall be presented to the governor. If he approves a bill, he shall sign it, deposit it in the office of the secretary of state and notify the house in which it originated of that fact. If he vetoes a bill, he shall return it with his objections to the house in which it originated.

According to this webpage, the bill originated in the Senate:

Senator Bakk moved to amend the Cohen amendment to S.F. No. 174 as
1.2follows:
1.3Page 1, after line 6, insert:
1.4″Page 2, after line 30, insert:

When Gov. Dayton vetoes the bill, Sen. Bakk will have a real decision to make. He can either drop the subject and be exposed as proposing the amendment to provide political cover on an unpopular subject or he can schedule a vote to override Gov. Dayton’s veto. Most importantly, the DFL majority in the Senate will be in jeopardy because the DFL will be exposed as not being particularly bothered by Gov. Dayton’s pay increases to his commissioners.

This was a show-and-tell vote. It was a freebie. It helped DFL senators look like they were doing something without actually doing something. Sen. Bakk’s amendment didn’t repeal Gov. Dayton’s authority to raise his commissioners’ pay. It just delayed part of the pay increase Sen. Bakk and the DFL legislature gave to Gov. Dayton. After all, Gov. Dayton’s commissioners had already received part of their raises long before last fall’s election.

Technorati: , , , , , ,

Bill Jacobson’s op-ed for USA Today highlights in outstanding detail President Obama’s unconstitutional actions. Let’s start with this:

Three areas of the Obama administration going it alone stand out: Immigration, Obamacare and the environment. Immigration is perhaps the most dramatic example.

Legalizing and eventually providing a path to citizenship for the estimated 10-12 million illegal immigrants is a top administration priority. But that priority hit a roadblock in the form of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, and soon, Senate. Out of frustration, Obama has taken unilateral action to evade the immigration laws.

Prior to 2014, the administration already had imposed non-repatriation policies at the border, and established the “mini-dream” policy, precluding deportation of people who were brought to the country illegally as minors and met certain other criteria. These policies, however, only applied to a relatively small portion of the total illegal immigrant population. So more was needed, and that “more” would not be coming from Congress.

It’s worth highlighting this first because it’s likely to get dealt with first. With the government funded for the year except the Department of Homeland Security, Republicans can play hardball on this issue. All they have to do is attach a rider to funding DHS prohibiting DHS from spending any money on documents that President Obama promised when he took this unconstitutional action.

That’s the short-term fix. The medium-term fix will come when the courts slap down President Obama’s actions in due time. The long-term fix will happen when a Republican president secures the Tex-Mex border, then signs one-piece-at-a-time immigration reform.

It’s worth noting that it’s Congress, not the president who sets immigration policy:

Congress’s legislative powers are enumerated in Section Eight:

The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence[note 1] and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

Here’s the heart of Prof. Jacobson’s commentary on the subject:

This immigration end-run creates a class of people who effectively are exempt from the immigration laws, without Congress ever having recognized such an exemption. It is not prosecutorial discretion but a usurpation of legislative power.

The executive branch never is vested with legislative authority. The minute this gets to the courts, they’ll rule against the Obama administration.

Here’s Prof. Jacobson’s excellent closing argument:

The exploitation of environmental regulatory authority not to implement laws, but to create a regulatory equivalent of legislation, is an abuse of executive discretion. At every level, the Obama administration has signaled that going it alone is the only way to get things done.

But that is not how our constitutional system is set up. The Framers understood the threat of an overreaching executive who wants to be king not president.

When President Obama leaves office, the next president will have a lengthy list of things to clean up from President Obama’s assault on the Constitution.