Friday, February 1, 2013

Obomination: Risky Presidential Power Grab Backfires

By making unconstitutional appointments, Obama is unfortunately more concerned with short-term political maneuvers than a legacy in the long run of a strong executive that is not repeatedly questioned by the other branches for overstepping the bounds of authority.

The D.C. Circuit rebuffed President Obama for unconstitutionally making three appointments to the National Labor Relations Board without Senate consent during a pro forma session.  In a case brought by members of Congress among others, the D.C. Circuit held that “[a]llowing the president to define the scope of his own appointments power would eviscerate the Constitution’s separation of powers.”  

Former Bush Assistant Attorney General John Yoo is among those concerned that the ultimate loser in Obama’s power grab will be future presidents.  Yoo writes in the Wall Street Journal that Obama has left a disturbing legacy of diminished executive power.   

For what did Obama risk the authority of the presidency to make appointments?  A few appointments to fill empty posts at administrative agencies.  According to Yoo, Obama “distorted the Framers' presidency into an instigator of domestic revolution, rather than as the protector of the national security and the enforcer of the laws.”   

Yoo concludes that “Mr. Obama's abdication of a core constitutional responsibility as a way of advancing his political fortunes is a remarkable and troubling turn in the history of the presidency.”

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