Feb 252012
 
handcuffed

On Tuesday, January 20, 2009, Barack Obama and Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., stood before a record crowd on inauguration day and, apparently from excessive jitters, completely butchered the oath of office. So poorly was this ceremony executed, White House counsel, concerned about the legality of Obama’s presidential status, requested Justice Roberts re-administer the oath. Being the kind of guy he is, Justice Roberts agreed.

So during the evening of January 21, 2009, in the Map Room of the White House, Barack Obama stood before Justice Roberts and recited the oath of office, as outlined in the U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 4:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will 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

And when Obama spoke those words, he became, as you would expect, the 44th President of the United States. But did you also know there is a population of more learned folks than me, that claim he should be impeached? How’s that? Well, that’s what were going to explore.

Turns out, there exists a host of scholars, constitutional law experts and attorneys that have been keeping an eye on President Obama and his interaction (or lack thereof) with the U.S. Constitution. Some make the claim he has consistently violated the spirit of the founding document while others, being a little more zealous, claim he has actually broken the law.

The potential offenses that I present here aren’t overly complex. That’s why I chose them. But do realize, there are more accusations on record than we will consider here in this humble blog. It’s actually a surprisingly long list if you dig deep enough. Many, if truth be told, are beyond my current Constitutional prowess. Others seem vague, tacky-tack or so obscured by legal-speak I can’t finish reading the piece. Of course, as you know, that doesn’t mean these complaints aren’t valid. It is my short-coming, not theirs. However, for our purposes, we’ll explore a few that I could wrap my head around.

In October 2011, Ron Paul hinted at the actual possibility of impeachment because he felt the President “disrespected the Constitution” after American-born, Anwar al-Awlaki, an Al Qaeda leader was killed in September. Some see it like he just whacked a terrorist. Many other people believe Obama was wrong when he authorized the killing of a U.S. citizen without a trial (due process of law). After all, if he can do it to one citizen what’s to stop him from doing it another?

Back in March 2011, Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), in an interview with Fox Business Network admitted he had talked to other Democrats about whether initiating hostilities against Libya without congressional approval was an impeachable offense. The Obama administration, you may recall, stated that U.S. actions were not hostile, therefore congressional approval was not needed. You tell me, is dropping bombs on buildings and people “not hostile”?

On January 4, 2012, Obama made four appointments without the “advice or consent” of the U.S. Senate, while the Senate was in a pro forma session and available. Many politicians, academics and lawyers say that’s a no, no. Even worse, they continue, one of the appointees, Richard Corday, had already been rejected by the Senate. Is this appropriate behavior for a man that swore to uphold the Constitution?

As you know, Obama’s prized jewel, Obama-care, it is claimed, violates the Constitution by forcing individuals to purchase health insurance. The uproar from politicians and the American people has been so loud, for so long, the Supreme Court will be considering the constitutionality of the case this summer. And let’s not forget, he knew the people were against it prior to signing the legislation into law.

Obama also signed Dodd-Frank into law, which allows the government to seize banks that receive federal money and seize non-bank financial institutions that the government feels might default. Might? That’s a little creepy. And more, Dodd-Frank establishes the Financial Stability Oversight Council, run by officials not selected by the President or confirmed by the Senate. This, according to the learned, violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution, Article II, Section 2, Clause 2.

Obama ordered the Department of Justice not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act. Is this appropriate for President Obama, to select which laws he will enforce and which he will ignore? I bet you wish you could do that, yes?

In a similar situation, Obama decided to implement a policy granting illegal aliens stay of refusal and allows immigration officials the authority to dismiss cases against illegal aliens convicted of violent crimes. By definition, illegal aliens are criminals. Why is the supreme ruler allowing them to escape prosecution? And if you have sympathy for the plight of illegal immigrants, it still doesn’t excuse the act of dismissing cases against those already convicted of violent crimes. By the way, this occurred after the Dream Act did not pass the Democrat-led Congress.

As a reminder, there are many more accusations on record but I’ll stop here.

The thing to keep in mind is that these examples are not the classic Republican versus Democrat or House versus Senate battles about passing a bill into law. The folks making the noise feel that in these situations there is a law in place and he has blatantly dismissed it or, a bill was rejected by Congress and he decided to pursue action anyway. If this is the case, they claim, then he clearly sees himself as above the laws of the land.

So, I ask you, what is your interpretation? Has Barack Obama preserved, protected, and defended the Constitution of the United States, as his oath requires? Do we have a president or do we have a constitutional criminal?


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