Obama and the Rule of Lawlessness

We are no longer a nation under the law, but merely one man's whim.

When our Founders embarked upon a revolution against their King, they listed many grievances in the Declaration of Independence.  All of their many complaints stemmed from one fundamental disagreement with His Majesty about the scope of his power:

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

What makes a "tyrant" as opposed to a legitimate monarch?  The Founders had a long list, but they came down to one basic principle: Lex Rex, or "The Law is King."  In other words, America's founders believed that even the king should not be above the law; a king had great power, but not all power.

This view was strongly rooted in English political tradition dating back to the "Magna Carta" which had been signed by King John at Runnymede in 1215.  It explicitly established the principle that the king did not have full arbitrary powers, and specifically that no individual person could be punished except through due process of law.

From the Magna Carta came all the great liberties of England and America, in stark contrast to the continental European monarchies where, as Louis IV pithily put it, "I am the state."  Indeed he was: he could decree someone executed, stripped of his properties, imprisoned, or whatever, and there was no power in the land that could say otherwise.

Not so in England: England's king, in theory, did not have the power to execute or imprison people, nor to take their property, nor to simply create legislation without the assent of Parliament.  Our Founders, having no representation in Parliament, felt that their rights as Englishmen were being ignored, and fought a war to defend the principle of representative government.

Our New Monarch

What, then, would they make of our current President, who is committing precisely the same abuses which caused a revolution when King George III did them?  According to the Declaration, King George was guilty of:

...suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

No, Barack Hussein Obama has not actually suspended Congress, but with his "executive DREAM act" he has certainly declared himself "invested with power to legislate for us."

It is a fact that America contains many millions of illegal immigrants who came here contrary to our laws.  By virtue of ignoring those laws, illegals declare themselves not to be subject to them.  Simple math demonstrates that illegals occupy jobs and collect money which they have no right to receive and which are properly due to American citizens or legal residents.  It is also a fact that this situation has evolved over many years and under administrations both Republican and Democrat; we are not attempting to assign blame here.

Furthermore, the American people and their representatives differ profoundly as to what ought to be done.  Generally speaking, the Left believes that anyone who wants to come here should be legally allowed to do so and granted the rights of citizenship as soon as they set foot on our soil; the Right believes that we have citizenship laws for good reasons, those laws ought to be enforced, and violators should be summarily thrown out and forbidden from ever returning.

In theory, what should happen is probably somewhere in the middle; determining exactly what is the very substance of politics, and precisely what Congress is for.  Last year, Obama himself recognized this truth:

I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce. And I think there's been a great disservice done to the cause of getting the DREAM Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by perpetrating the notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things. It's just not true.  [emphasis added]

Rise of a Tyrant

That was last year.  This year is an election year.  All of a sudden, Mr. Obama has decided that he can unilaterally change the law after all.

Under the new policy, people younger than 30 who came to the United States before the age of 16, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military can get a two-year deferral from deportation, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.  It also will allow those meeting the requirements to apply for work permits[emphasis added]

This is lawlessness and nothing but.  The law, as passed by Congress, is crystal clear: illegal immigrants have no right to be in the United States, no right to expect anything other than immediate deportation, and certainly no right to apply for any sort of legal status without first returning to their home country, going to the back of the line, and following the proper procedures.  Congress, of course, has the power to change the law; this has not happened.

Yet here is Mr. Obama and his minion Napolitano declaring the granting of deferrals that they have no right to grant and awarding work permits they have no right to award, completely contrary to the laws of the land.  Barack Obama has invested himself with power to legislate.

What's more, he has invested himself with the power to de-legislate.  In what appeared to be a victory for the rule of law, our Supreme Court upheld Arizona's right to attempt to enforce Federal immigration law by detaining illegals and turning them over to the Feds for enforcement of the Federal laws they broke by being here.  What was the response of the Obama administration?

That means police statewide can immediately begin calling to check immigration status — but federal officials are likely to reject most of those calls.

Federal officials said they’ll still perform the checks as required by law but will respond only when someone has a felony conviction on his or her record. Absent that, ICE will tell the local police to release the person[emphasis added]

In other words, Arizona police will arrest someone who appears to be an illegal immigrant, will call the Federal agency tasked with enforcing immigration law for help - and that agency will lie to the Arizona police about the illegal immigrant's status as an illegal, wrongfully telling the police to release the illegal alien.  What is that if not lawlessness?

What's more, a complete disregarding of immigration law is not the Obama administration's first foray into tyrannical rule by fiat.  We've talked about how bankruptcy law was turned on its head to award ownership of GM and Chrysler to the UAW union that destroyed them.  We've seen how the Obama administration considers the First Amendment's protection of religious beliefs to be of no effect when it collides with the demands of socialist feminists.  Obama has even come out and flatly stated that he has no intention of defending, much less enforcing, the Defense of Marriage Act which was passed by overwhelming Congressional majorities and signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton.  To him, the legislature is merely a speed bump on his way to doing, well, whatever he darn well pleases.

There was another president who felt exactly the same way.

When the President does it, that means it is not illegal.

 - Richard M. Nixon

Except that Nixon was wrong: the President is chief executive of this nation sworn under oath to

...faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

The President is not a king; it is not for him to decide what the law is.  It's for him to enforce it as written by Congress and duly enacted into law, and for darn sure to obey it, as Nixon found out when he was justly hounded from office for refusing to do so.

Why was resignation in the face of impeachment right and proper for Mr. Nixon, but it's not for Mr. Obama?  They both committed precisely the same offense against their high office, their oath, the Constitution, and all Americans.

The law, and due process of law, is our only protection against tyranny.  When that is stripped away as President Obama is doing, what do we have left?

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Law.
Reader Comments

The English imported their king from Germany, and George Soros, under the direction of the New World Order thugs, imported our new king from God knows where.
What is wanted by the government is a situation whereby martial law can be instituted. Anarchy is the rule of the day.
The Department of Justice is withholding evidence on the murder of one of our agents.
On a local basis, we have murders, rapes, robberies, home invasions, and all sorts of criminal behavior that is not being addressed by the local law enforcement agencies. It is pure anarchy. Most people haven't awakened to that fact yet. But the dawn is approaching.
Peace, Robert Walker

June 27, 2012 10:27 PM

We are getting what we deserve by voting this sycophant into office. He is doing what the left wants and will continue to do so. The question is simply this, "Just how stupid are the independents on election day?". If they want to dream about nirvana then we will get more of the same.

June 27, 2012 11:07 PM
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