During a congressional committee hearing about the constitutional limits imposed on the presidency and the implications of President Barack Obama’s disregard for implementing the Affordable Care Act as written, one expert testified that the consequences of the president’s behavior were potentially grave. He said that the precedent set by Obama could eventually lead to an armed revolt against the federal government.
On Tuesday, Michael Cannon, Cato Institute’s Director of Health Policy Studies, testified before a congressional committee about the dangers of the president’s legal behavior.
“There is one last thing to which the people can resort if the government does not respect the restrains that the constitution places on the government,” Cannon said. “Abraham Lincoln talked about our right to alter our government or our revolutionary right to overthrow it.”
“That is certainly something that no one wants to contemplate,” he continued. “If the people come to believe that the government is no longer constrained by the laws then they will conclude that neither are they.”
“That is a very dangerous sort of thing for the president to do, to wantonly ignore the laws,” Cannon concluded, “to try to impose obligation upon people that the legislature did not approve.”
Watch the clip below via C-SPAN 2:
The view from the Left.......
Liberal law prof: Obama’s unconstitutional power grabs are creating a “very dangerous and unstable system”
POSTED AT 8:01 PM ON DECEMBER 3, 2013 BY ALLAHPUNDIT
Good stuff from Jonathan Turley at today’s House hearing on executive power, although I regret that I couldn’t find a more user-friendly format for you to watch. There’s no compilation clip; you’ll have to make do with the C-SPAN embed by fast-forwarding to the time cues I give you and being patient while the vid buffers (and buffers, and buffers). At 1:10:55 he describes the “royal prerogative” that the Constitution was designed to eliminate but which Obama, through the growth of the administrative state and his own expansive view of executive discretion, is now flirting with. At 2:53:45, he applies that concept to O’s war powers, specifically vis-a-vis Libya and the White House “kill list.” If you have time for only one snippet, though, skip to 2:33:00 for his list of Obama’s five most egregious violations of separation of powers. Some are familiar to you — declaring that he wouldn’t deport illegals who might qualify for DREAM, refusing to enforce the employer mandate, etc — but the ones about him shifting money around without regard to how Congress has appropriated it might not be. Turley makes two valuable points here. One: Courts tend to give the executive a wide berth in separation-of-powers challenges on the theory that Congress has the power of the purse and can defund any executive agency it likes. But that’s not true anymore, he says. Obama, by defying appropriations, has claimed some of that power for himself. What check does Congress have left? That brings us to point two: Even if Congress can’t stop Obama, the courts can. The problem there, though, says Turley, is that O and the DOJ have argued successfully in many cases that no one has standing to sue him because no one can show an injury from his power grabs that’s concrete enough to justify a federal lawsuit. So the courts can’t check him either.
The only check is to beat him at the polls, and since he’s now term-limited, there’s no real check there apart from his party’s fear that they’ll be punished for his excesses instead. Show of hands: Who thinks Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will keep Obama in line? Before you answer, note that leading amnesty shill Luis Gutierrez argued at this same hearing that, if anything, Obama should have a freer hand so that he can go about unilaterally legalizing the illegals Gutierrez has been effectively representing in Congress for years. That’s what’s left of Democratic opposition to the imperial executive.
And folks restless in Detroit ..... Fear and anger lead potentially to violence - just need a spark ....
So , the trillion buck coin actually was looked at by the White House ?
Ryan J. Reilly
December 3, 2013
December 3, 2013
The Obama administration was serious enough about manufacturing a high-value platinum coin to avert a congressional fight over the debt ceiling that it had its top lawyers draw up a memo laying out the legal case for such a move, The Huffington Post learned last week.
The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which functions as a sort of law firm for the president and provides him and executive branch agencies with authoritative legal advice, formally weighed in on the platinum coin option sometime since Obama took office, according to OLC’s recent response to HuffPost’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. While the letter acknowledged the existence of memos on the platinum coin option, OLC officials determined they were “not appropriate for discretionary release.”
HuffPost submitted the FOIA request when there was increased speculation about the use of the platinum coin option ahead of the debt ceiling crisis this fall. Under the compromise reached between the House and Senate following the government shutdown, the U.S. will hit the debt ceiling once again on Feb. 7, though the Treasury can use extraordinary measures to extend that deadline.
Supporters of the platinum coin option say that under a 1996 law allowing the Treasury Department to mint a platinum coin in any denomination, the president could order the manufacture of, say, a $1 trillion coin that would be deposited in the Federal Reserve. The Treasury Department would then use the platinum coin funds to meet government obligations without the need for Congress to grant any additional spending powers.
What would Kafka have written about this ?
December 3, 2013
December 3, 2013
The names of nearly three-quarters of a million individuals have been secretly added to watch lists administered by the United States government, but federal officials are adamant about keeping information about these rosters under wraps.
A report by the New York Times’ Susan Stellin published over the weekend attempted to shine much-deserved light on an otherwise largely unexposed program of federal watch lists, but details about these directories — including the names of individuals on them and what they did to get there — remain as elusive as ever.
More than 12 years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, federal agencies continue to keep lists on hand containing names of individuals of interest: people who often end up un-cleared to enter or exit the US due to an array of activity that could be considered suspicious or terrorist-related to government officials.
In 2008, the American Civil Liberties Union claimed that an Inspector General of the Department of Justice report found at least 700,000 individual names on the database maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center, the Federal Bureau of Investigation sub-office tasked with overseeing the “single database of identifying information about those known or reasonably suspected of being involved in terrorist activity.” Five years later, that number of suspicious persons is reportedly close to what it was at the time. Half-a-decade down the road, however, Americans and foreign nationals who end up on the government’s radar are offered little chance to find out how they ended there, or even file an appeal.
According to some, that’s just the start of what’s wrong with these lists.
“If you’ve done the paperwork correctly, then you can effectively enter someone onto the watch list,” SUNY Buffalo Law School associate professor Anya Bernstein told Stellin for this weekend’s report. What’s more, though, according to Bernstein, is that “There’s no indication that agencies undertake any kind of regular retrospective review to assess how good they are at predicting the conduct they’re targeting,” suggesting that anyone can be targeted and added to such a list with little oversight to protect them.
“When you have a huge list of people who are likely to commit terrorist acts, it’s easy to think that terrorism is a really big problem and we should be devoting a lot of resources to fighting it,” Bernstein added. With almost no transparency and outrages aplenty, though, she argues that the government’s watch lists are largely flawed and can erroneously ruin an innocent person’s life.
Such is the case with Rahinah Ibrahim, 48-year-old a former Standard University doctoral student who was expected to be in federal court in San Francisco, California Monday morning for the latest hearing in a case that stems from an incident in 2005 that ended with her learning she had been added to a terrorist watch list. Ibrahim was attempting to board a Hawaii-bound plane from San Francisco International Airport in traditional Muslim garb when she was taken into custody and told she had landed herself on a terrorist watch list. Nearly a decade later Ibrahim continues to disavow any connections with terrorism, but the issues surrounding the watch list program has made it seemingly impossible to find out what she did, let alone have her name removed from the list.
“We’ve tried to get discovery into whether our client has been surveilled and have been shut down on that,” Elizabeth Pipkin, a lawyer representing Ms. Ibrahim, added to the Times. “They won’t answer that question for us.”
“She doesn’t want this to happen to other people — to be wrongfully included on these lists that haunt them for years and years,” Pipkin said recently to Northern California’s Mercury News.
“No one knows how the targets get on the lists,” she said. “The government has never contested this case on the merits. We don’t think they have a defense.”
But with Monday’s hearing coming nearly a decade after Ibrahim first found herself in trouble, the likelihood of any reform coming soon to the watch list system seems slim-to-none. ACLU lawyer Hina Shamsi even told the Times that the system keeping the watch lists in tact seems to be more flawed than the one guarding over terrorist suspects held at America’s military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“People who are accused of being enemy combatants at Guantánamo have the ability to challenge their detention, however imperfect that now is,” Shamsi told Stellin. “It makes no sense that people who have not actually been accused of any wrongdoing can’t challenge.”
A Terrorist Screening Center official reached for comment by the Times claimed that fewer than one percent of those listed on such rosters are US citizens or legal permanent residents, but as Stellin points out, “there is no way to confirm that number.”