Just to set the groundwork for this, this is in reference to an article that was posted at The Daily Beast, which is a liberal website.Â The title of the article is The Lawless Presidency.Â The article was written by Bruce Ackerman, who is a Sterling Professor of Law at Yale Law School.Â Back in March, Mr. Ackerman wrote another article entitled Obamaâ€™s Unconstitutional War.Â In both articles, the author expresses his opinion on Presidential imperialism and unilateralism.
Iâ€™ve read both articles, and what I can say is that at least Mr. Ackerman recognizes the need to stay within the boundaries called for in the U.S. Constitution regarding limitations of power of the Executive Branch of government. Â This is a much more accurate and objective viewpoint than we have been seeing and hearing on the liberal side of politics lately.
As a conservative, the answer to any situation in which the validity or applicability of the Constitution is called into question is, in my opinion, very simpleâ€¦abide by the law.Â When a President is sworn into office, he or she makes the following oath:
“I, (personâ€™s name here), do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and I will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
This oath is essentially a promise that is made to the American people.Â If the person has no intention of honoring that promise, then they shouldnâ€™t run for office as President.Â The personâ€™s opinion about the Constitution (i.e. whether it may or may not be outdated, whether our founding fathers were right or wrong, etc.) is of no significance.Â The promise is significant.
The Constitution is to be preserved, protected and defended, not manipulated, distorted or undermined to accomplish the individualâ€™s own personal or political agenda.Â If and when a situation occurs where demands that might be placed on the President are questionable in regards to constitutionality, the President should respond by first and foremost fulfilling the oath and respecting the promise that was made to citizens of this country.
Conservatives are far more inclined to follow the K.I.S.S. method on such thingsâ€¦â€Keep It Simple, Stupidâ€.Â Our liberal counterparts, on the other hand, absolutely love to go with over-kill on practically everything, donâ€™t they?Â Even with Mr. Ackerman, it isnâ€™t that Obamaâ€™s actions are wrong, illegal, or compromise a breech of trust with the American peopleâ€¦it is that the legal system associated with the Executive branch of government is â€œbrokenâ€ and needs to be â€œfixedâ€.
To respond to this danger, Congress should create a new legal tribunal within the executive branch that will be more insulated from raw political pressures. This panel should consist of nine judges, appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, for 12-year terms. This will provide the relative independence needed to consider whether the sitting president’s lawyers are presenting serious legal arguments for their unilateral actions. The new tribunal would give the president the institution he needs, under modern conditions, to fulfill his constitutional obligation â€œto take care that the laws be faithfully executed.â€ The present system too readily transforms the rule of law into an apologia for arbitrary presidential power.
Fundamental reform raises lots of important issues of institutional design. But it is past time for Congress to confront them rather than await even worse exercises of presidential unilateralism in the decades ahead
I daresay that liberals may very well be a bit concerned at this point about the precedent that President Obamaâ€™s actions are presenting, particularly in light of the reality that his prospects for re-election arenâ€™t nearly as strong as liberals may have hoped they would be.Â And of course, they would like to see this resolved while President Obama is still in office, because it would prevent any possibility that a Republican President would be just as unilateral and imperialistic as Obama has been.
All the same, adding yet another governmental function into the system isnâ€™t the best solution.
The best solution is for the President of the United States to respond in a lawful manner rather than a lawless one.