Sunday, September 19, 2021
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Liberal Law Professor Opines on Lawless Presidency

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.  The title of the article is The Lawless Presidency.  The article was written by Bruce Ackerman, who is a Sterling Professor of Law at Yale Law School.  Back in March, Mr. Ackerman wrote another article entitled Obama’s Unconstitutional War.  In both articles, the author expresses his opinion on Presidential imperialism and unilateralism.

I’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.  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 simple…abide by the law.  When a President is sworn into office, he or she makes the following oath:

“I, (person’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.  If the person has no intention of honoring that promise, then they shouldn’t run for office as President.  The person’s opinion about the Constitution (i.e. whether it may or may not be outdated, whether our founding fathers were right or wrong, etc.)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.  The promise is significant.

The Constitution is to be preserved, protected and defended, not manipulated, distorted or undermined to accomplish the individual’s own personal or political agenda.  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 things…”Keep It Simple, Stupid”.  Our liberal counterparts, on the other hand, absolutely love to go with over-kill on practically everything, don’t they?  Even with Mr. Ackerman, it isn’t that Obama’s actions are wrong, illegal, or compromise a breech of trust with the American people…it is that the legal system associated with the Executive branch of government is “broken” and needs to be “fixed”.

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 “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” 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 Obama’s actions are presenting, particularly in light of the reality that his prospects for re-election aren’t nearly as strong as liberals may have hoped they would be.  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 isn’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.

 

9 COMMENTS

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9 COMMENTS

  1. I agree: KISS. The very last thing we need is yet another ‘new’ government anything, tribunal, department, bureau or whatever. How about just doing what’s right for a change. What a concept! And as for our lawyer friends, to me they’re kind of like any other specialist; whatever one says, you can always find (hire) another, equally qualified, who will say the direct opposite. If our modern laws were written in simple language, like that old decrepit Constitution (which is over 100 years old you know), life would be better for us all. And we wouldn’t ‘need’ so many [redacted] lawyers. Cheers and Happy Fourth of July!

    • Happy 4th of July to you as well, mriggio

      It is simple…do what is right. Abide by the law. And particularly for a President, the person in the highest position of authority in our government, this should apply.

  2. Tks again for your radarsystem. LH. This is why we have to pay attention. Ackerman, we suspect,is either being disingenuous or, as often is the case, a one-trick pony in his anti-war sentiments. the quotes you present here show some mixing up of the separation of powers, the President’s right to independent or personal counsel, and all of the above. To me, the idea of setting up a panel of judges somehow ensconced in the West Wing to advise Congress on the wisdom of what the President’s lawyers are telling him not only infringes on the executive, and not only infringes on the federal judiciary we already have (the Supreme Court) but would also have the practical effect of the exact opposite of what Ackerman would have us believe. It would become conventional for Congress to accept the judgement of the panel that the President could obtain in about a minute with a private conference call with these dupes wholly within the confines of the West Wing. Nope. Not gonna do it. But no doubt it will get at least some ‘bipartisan support’ from Republicans how will tell the public they are really putting the kiabatch on Obama.

    • Yeah, bob, I’m not sure how much weight Mr. Ackerman’s opinions might carry amongst the elites, but it is still an issue we need to be watching for, and I agree on that.

      BTW, it sounds like your response was simply to my own. I see an intermediary body such as the one that Mr. Ackerman described as being dangerous more than being helpful. It would operate behind the scenes. It could easily have a direct impact on public policy decisions made by any or all of the three branches of gov’t. What’s the difference in having one person act as a dictator or having a tribunal act in the form of dictatorship? That’s where I think it is dangerous.

  3. My take is, a lot of liberal elitists in academia and media right about now, realize they had better start updating their resumes and hedging their bets. And leaving a paper trail of same, is the best cover. They can see Obama may continue spiralling down, or a better Marxist to follow may come along.

  4. Ackerman, like your average academian, is an idiot. It is fortunate, and a matter that calls for some courage, that he is willing to call foul on barack for his imperial behavior.

    But like you say, the boy just can’t help himself. His solution is to insulate a president from himself. It’s not barack’s fault, after all. The institution has become too complicated, and one man, even such an awesome genius like barack, is unable to both do his job and defend the Constitution.

  1. I agree: KISS. The very last thing we need is yet another ‘new’ government anything, tribunal, department, bureau or whatever. How about just doing what’s right for a change. What a concept! And as for our lawyer friends, to me they’re kind of like any other specialist; whatever one says, you can always find (hire) another, equally qualified, who will say the direct opposite. If our modern laws were written in simple language, like that old decrepit Constitution (which is over 100 years old you know), life would be better for us all. And we wouldn’t ‘need’ so many [redacted] lawyers. Cheers and Happy Fourth of July!

    • Happy 4th of July to you as well, mriggio

      It is simple…do what is right. Abide by the law. And particularly for a President, the person in the highest position of authority in our government, this should apply.

  2. Tks again for your radarsystem. LH. This is why we have to pay attention. Ackerman, we suspect,is either being disingenuous or, as often is the case, a one-trick pony in his anti-war sentiments. the quotes you present here show some mixing up of the separation of powers, the President’s right to independent or personal counsel, and all of the above. To me, the idea of setting up a panel of judges somehow ensconced in the West Wing to advise Congress on the wisdom of what the President’s lawyers are telling him not only infringes on the executive, and not only infringes on the federal judiciary we already have (the Supreme Court) but would also have the practical effect of the exact opposite of what Ackerman would have us believe. It would become conventional for Congress to accept the judgement of the panel that the President could obtain in about a minute with a private conference call with these dupes wholly within the confines of the West Wing. Nope. Not gonna do it. But no doubt it will get at least some ‘bipartisan support’ from Republicans how will tell the public they are really putting the kiabatch on Obama.

    • Yeah, bob, I’m not sure how much weight Mr. Ackerman’s opinions might carry amongst the elites, but it is still an issue we need to be watching for, and I agree on that.

      BTW, it sounds like your response was simply to my own. I see an intermediary body such as the one that Mr. Ackerman described as being dangerous more than being helpful. It would operate behind the scenes. It could easily have a direct impact on public policy decisions made by any or all of the three branches of gov’t. What’s the difference in having one person act as a dictator or having a tribunal act in the form of dictatorship? That’s where I think it is dangerous.

  3. My take is, a lot of liberal elitists in academia and media right about now, realize they had better start updating their resumes and hedging their bets. And leaving a paper trail of same, is the best cover. They can see Obama may continue spiralling down, or a better Marxist to follow may come along.

  4. Ackerman, like your average academian, is an idiot. It is fortunate, and a matter that calls for some courage, that he is willing to call foul on barack for his imperial behavior.

    But like you say, the boy just can’t help himself. His solution is to insulate a president from himself. It’s not barack’s fault, after all. The institution has become too complicated, and one man, even such an awesome genius like barack, is unable to both do his job and defend the Constitution.

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