Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Caesar's Amnesty

President Obama’s “executive order” on amnesty does more than press against the limits of executive power. It ends the Constitutional system of government. The American system was based on separation of powers, built on setting “interest against interest.” To explain:

Congress writes the law, and the President enforces it. This separation makes it difficult for Congress to target people, as they cannot generally direct investigations. Likewise, it keeps the president from targeting people as he cannot craft laws to target specific people, but only prosecute those people who violate laws passed by Congress.

The Courts rule on what the law means - meaning Congress can’t draft a vague law and manipulate it, or make after-the-fact interpretations to ensnare political enemies.

And the Courts themselves are largely passive. They cannot initiate prosecutions or write or rule of law until it is brought before them by a third party. So the Courts cannot target people or manipulate the law either.

These aren't the only reasons that justify separation of powers, but I don’t want to write a book. The point is that the separation of powers formed the cornerstone of American government. But the president killed it.

The president, alone, has repealed a law by announcing an end to deportation of certain classes of people he likes. This is the negation of a law, passed by Congress and signed by a previous President, solely on this president’s say-so. The President has taken from Congress the power to repeal laws.

The President has also written law by decree. He has created a new permit system for illegal aliens to gain lawful status and work authorization. Actual laws prohibiting these people’s employment, written by Congress, are repealed by Presidential decree.

This is far more than prosecutorial discretion. Discretion is largely a case-by-case determination of who take to court or prioritizing certain crimes above others simply because the state cannot prosecute everything. It has never been a general grant of exemption from a law, or the express refusal to enforce it. It most definitely cannot serve as a justification for a grant of legal privileges to people denied them by statute.

But this action does indeed place them above the law. Not only are they exempt from the immigration law, but they are also exempt from Obamacare as well. That means, quite simply, that employers that hire these authorized illegals do not face insurance mandates or fines for them. Illegals are cheaper, safer and require less paperwork than actual legal immigrants and citizens.

Now that the president has issued the decree, who will rule on what it means? He will, of course. The courts cannot - they don’t have authority over decrees, just laws. The president may expand, contract, grant or deny this amnesty as he see fit with no one able to contradict him. There is no appeal, no oversight, and no check on the President’s claimed authority to override the Constitution and issue binding decrees upon the public.

This seizure of legislative and judicial power by the executive marks the end of the American Constitution and the return of the Roman Dictator, with absolute power over the country for a set period of time. Unless the dictator decides not to relinquish power. Then the response is very simple:

“Hail Caesar”.

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