Here’s How Obama Is Turning The American Presidency Into A Dictatorship

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ALEXANDRIA, VA — From the beginning of recorded history to the present time, very few societies have lived in freedom. The Founding Fathers understood very well that freedom was not man’s natural state. Their entire political philosophy was based on a fear of government power and the need to limit and control that power very strictly.

That government should be clearly limited and that power is a corrupting force was the essential perception held by the men who wrote the Constitution. They limited government power and divided it between three branches (the legislative, executive, and judicial) so that one branch could serve as a check on the others.

In The Federalist Papers, James Madison wrote: “It may be a reflection on human nature that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

In recent years, under both Republicans and Democrats, the power of the president, the so-called “Imperial Presidency,” has dramatically expanded. The Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war. Yet, we have gone to war repeatedly since World War II without a declaration of war, most recently when George W. Bush invaded Iraq to remove alleged “weapons of mass destruction” that did not exist.

Under President Obama, declares Jonathan Turley, professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, “This trend…has accelerated. Obama has succeeded to a degree that would have made Richard Nixon blush. Indeed, Obama may be the president Nixon always wanted to be. … His unilateral actions are redrawing the lines of separation in our system in a way that I believe could prove destabilizing and even dangerous in the future.”

When it comes to war, Turley notes that Nixon’s impeachment included the charge that he evaded Congress’ sole authority to declare war by invading Cambodia. Obama “went even further in the Libyan war, declaring that he alone defines what is a ‘war’ for the purposes of triggering the Constitutional provisions on declarations of Congress. That position effectively converts the entire provision in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution (‘Congress shall have power to…declare War’) into a discretionary power of the president.”

With regard to immigration, health care, welfare, education, and drug policy, the president has suspended, waived, and rewritten laws, including the Affordable Care Act. That law required the employer mandate to begin this year. But the administration wrote a new law, giving to companies of a certain size a delay until 2016 and stipulating that other employers must certify that they will not drop employees to avoid the mandate. Doing so would initiate criminal perjury charges. In this case, the president, by executive action, created a new crime.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

How The Growth Of Executive Power Is A Threat To Representative Government


ALEXANDRIA, VA — In recent days, the Obama administration appears to be in the process of dramatically expanding executive power, threatening our system of representative government.

Whatever the merits of the return of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from Afghanistan turn out to be, it seems beyond question that President Obama bypassed a federal law requiring the Pentagon to notify Congress a month before he transferred the five Taliban detainees to complete the deal.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, noted that when conversations between the Obama administration and Congress about the potential swap were held 18 months earlier, “[T]here were very strong views, and they were virtually unanimous against the trade.”

The administration argues that it had a right to ignore the law because of reports regarding the risk of harm to Bergdahl. Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor who was a senior Justice Department lawyer in the Bush administration, called this interpretation unconvincing. He noted that elsewhere in the same act, Congress imposed requirements that contained explicit exceptions.

Abuses of executive power are, of course, bipartisan. When George W. Bush’s legal team made frequent claims that the commander-in-chief could bypass statutory restrictions at his discretion, it echoed the current Obama team by saying it would “construe” what appeared to be legal mandates as merely advisory or as containing unwritten exceptions.

Mr. Bush made many of those claims in signing statements. He used that device to advance sweeping theories of executive power and challenged about 1,200 provisions of laws, more than twice as many as all previous presidents combined, including a ban on torture and oversight requirements in the Patriot Act.

During the 2008 campaign, Obama, then a senator, called Bush’s practice an “abuse,” saying that he himself would use the device with more restraint. He then defined restraint as not issuing statements that would “nullify or undermine Congressional instructions.” After he became president, he issued a memorandum that The New York Times described as “subtly relaxing that standard, instead defining restraint as invoking only well-founded legal theories.”

While Obama has not issued as many signing statements as George W. Bush, he employs them in much the same way. In December, he issued a signing statement about the 30-day notice statute. It said that in certain circumstances, other restrictions on transfers “would violate constitutional separation of powers principles”–and that if those circumstances arose, “my administration will implement them in a manner that avoids Constitutional conflict.”

By now acting on that claim, critics say, Obama has taken another step toward practices of his predecessor that he once criticized.

In 2006, a 10-member panel of lawyers and legal scholars assembled by the American Bar Association (ABA) declared, “The President’s Constitutional duty is to enforce laws he has signed into being unless and until they are held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court or a subordinate tribunal. The Constitution is not what the President says it is.”

As president, Obama has issued close to 30 signing statements. In the Defense Authorization Act alone, he challenged more than 20 sections of the law. Among the challenges have been assertions of his power to close Guantanamo Bay and to disregard whistleblower protections.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Supreme Court Decision Reaffirms Religion’s Role In American Life

ALEXANDRIA, VA — In a major decision last week on the role of religion in government, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution allows town boards to start their sessions with sectarian prayers.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority in the case, Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway, et al., said that Greece, a town in upstate New York, had not violated the Constitution by starting its public meetings with a prayer from a “chaplain of the month,” who was almost always Christian. The prayers were ceremonial, Justice Kennedy wrote, and served to signal the solemnity of the occasion.

The decision built on one from 1983 that allowed prayers at the start of legislative sessions. Justice Kennedy said the prayers in both settings were “meant to lend gravity to the occasion and reflect values long part of the nation¹s heritage.”

Town officials in Greece said members of all faiths, and atheists, were welcome to give the opening prayer. In practice, however, almost all of the chaplains were Christian. Some prayers were explicitly sectarian, with references, for instance, to “the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.”

Two town residents sued, saying the prayers violated the First Amendment’s prohibition of government establishment of religion. They said the prayers offended them and, in Justice Kennedy’s words, “made them feel excluded and disrespected.”

But, he said, the relevant constitutional question was not whether they were offended. “Adults often encounter speech they find disagreeable,” he wrote. “Legislative bodies do not engage in impermissible coercion merely by exposing constituents to prayer they would rather not hear and in which they need not participate.”

Justice Kennedy referred to history, pointing out that the same Founders who wrote the First Amendment with its prohibition on the establishment of a government religion also provided protections for religious liberty and provided money for congressional chaplains.

“Legislative prayer has become part of our heritage and tradition, part of our expressive idiom, similar to the pledge of allegiance, inaugural prayer, or the recitation of ‘God save the United States and this honorable Court’ at the opening of this court’s sessions,” he wrote.

The separation of church and state was not meant to establish, as many today seem to believe, separation of religion and state. America was not to be a Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish nation — but it was to be a nation that recognized its dependence upon a Supreme Being. On our coins is written, “In God We Trust.” Sessions of Congress begin with prayer. The Supreme Court itself starts its meetings with prayer.

What the First Amendment really was saying has been all but forgotten. Judge Thomas Cooley, a leading constitutional scholar of the 19th century, put it this way in his Principles of Constitutional Law: “By establishment of religion is meant the setting up or recognizing of a state church, or at least the conferring upon one church of special favors and advantages which are denied to others. It was never intended by the Constitution that the government should be prohibited from recognizing religion, or that religious worship should never be provided for in cases where a proper recognition of Divine Providence in the working of government might seem to require it, and where it might be done without drawing invidious distinctions between different religious beliefs, organizations, or sects. The Christian religion was always recognized in the administration of the common law; and so far as that law continues to be the law of the land, the fundamental principles of that religion must continue to be recognized in the same cases and to the same extent as formerly.”

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom