No matter how you look at it, 2013 was a rough year for the Constitution. Though the limitations on the federal government have been increasingly ignored over the past several decades, it does seem like it went into overdrive since President Barack Obama took office, particularly in the last 12 months.
During an appearance this morning on Fox and Friends, Elizabeth Price Foley, a constitutional law professor at Florida International University, went through some of President Obama’s biggest constitutional violations of the last year.
“The five biggest constitutional violations by the President have been in Obamacare. Which, as you know, is the signature legislation of the President, and it’s basically, sort of, become a playground to tryout an imperial presidency,” said Foley, pointing specifically to the delay of the employer mandate and the “exemption” for members of Congress and their staffers.
In these instances the White House delayed parts of Obamacare, despite no statutory authorization to do so. Price Foley also pointed to President Obama’s controversial recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) as example of constitutional overreach.
“Article II [of the Constitution] says he has the power to fill vacancies that happen when the Senate is in recess. But guess what, the Senate wasn’t in recess,” she explained. “No other president has attempted to fill a vacancy when the Senate wasn’t in recess. The D.C. Court of Appeals said that’s unconstitutional, and I expect the Supreme Court to say the same thing.”
The Supreme Court agreed to hear that particular case back in June. Oral arguments are set for January 13, 2014. Price Foley touched on some other constitutional violations committed by President Obama and his administration, including suppression of speech with which he disagrees and bypassing Congress on immigration.
There is some reason for optimism that 2014 will be a better year for the Constitution. But, ultimately, it’s up to the people through their elected representatives in Washington to hold President Obama accountable for his extraconstitutional actions.