Richard Nixon would envy the power that Barack Obama has consolidated into the Executive Branch. In this new, unrecognizable system of government, a president can change laws arbitrarily, paying no mind to the two other coequal branches of government.
During an appearance on Fox News’ Hannity on Wednesday evening, Jonathan Turley, a Georgetown constitutional law professor and political leftist, explained that President Obama’s flouting of a law requiring that his administration notify Congress before the transfer of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay is just latest example of the “uber-presidency.”
“[U]nfortunately our system is changing, and it’s changing without a debate, or even a discussion as to what we’re going to do in the future when we have a three branch system, a tripartite system but one branch is so dominant,” Turley told Sean Hannity. “What’s emerging is an imperial presidency, an uber-presidency as I’ve called it, where the president can act unilaterally. This is only the latest example of that.”
Turley said that the path the White House has taken, making itself to be the dominant branch in the federal government, shuts down the safeguards in place to protect individual liberty.
“People don’t seem to understand that the separation of powers is not about the power of these branches, it’s there to protect individual liberty, it’s there to protect us from the concentration of power. That’s what is occurring here,” said Turley. “You know, I’ve said it before, Barack Obama is really the president Richard Nixon always wanted to be. You know, he’s been allowed to act unilaterally in a way that we’ve fought for decades.”
White House and administration officials acknowledge that the law was broken when they arranged a deal with the Taliban for Sgt. Bowe Berghdal, who allegedly deserted his unit in 2009, in exchange for five senior Taliban officials. President Obama told reporters this morning that he won’t apologize for the deal.