July 16, 2014 by History in a Hurry
Obama executive actions seen as threat to Constitution
Republicans file lawsuit in attempt to rein in president
by Stephen Dinan
A prominent law professor and avowed supporter of the Obama White House will tell the House on Wednesday that the president has created one of the biggest constitutional crises in the country’s history and will endorse House Republicans’ effort to sue to rein him in.
Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University, will say President Obama is trampling the founders’ vision for the country in his push to circumvent Congress, and he will demand Republicans and Democrats alike forget their party labels to unify against this White House’s power grab.
A couple excerpts from Turley’s testimony:
Our system is changing in a dangerous and destabilizing way. We are seeing the emergence of a different model of government in our country – a model long ago rejected by the Framers. The rise of a dominant presidency has occurred with relatively little congressional opposition. Indeed, when President Obama pledged to circumvent Congress, he received rapturous applause from the very body that he was promising to make practically irrelevant.
Despite our petty failings and partisan impulses, a single system of governance has brought us through wars, depression, civil unrest, and other towering challenges. However, our system has been preserved under a certain covenant of faith from all citizens. It is that very covenant that is affirmed every time a president or a Member of Congress takes the oath of office. There is no improvisation option for Congress. There is no circumvention option for presidents. What we are witnessing today is a crisis of faith in our system despite its unparalleled and proven success. People have grown impatient with the constraints of the constitutional system, constraints which can seem quaint or antiquated when compared to pressing problems of health care or immigration or the environment. It is tempting to embrace rule by a single person who offers to govern alone to get things done. However, this is the very Siren’s call that our Founders warned us to resist. We remain a nation of laws and we have a court system designed to resolve such controversies. That is precisely where this authorization would take us and it is where these questions should be answered.