Tag Archives: Executive Order

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Obama to Achieve Gun Control by Stealth

There’s a fascinating piece of information buried in a blog written by Jason Horowitz for WashingtonPost.com, April 11, 2011, which telegraphs how Obama plans to effectuate gun control.
The blog is about Steve Croley, Obama’s gun policy advisor and point man on gun regulation policy.
Here’s the tidbit in Horowitz’s article:

On March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady, who sustained a debilitating head wound in the attack, and his wife, Sarah, came to Capitol Hill to push for a ban on the controversial “large magazines.” Brady, for whom the law requiring background checks on handgun purchasers is named, then met with White House press secretary Jay Carney. During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, “to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda,” she said. “I just want you to know that we are working on it,” Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

In the meeting, she said, Obama discussed how records get into the system and what can be done about firearms retailers. Her husband specifically brought up the proposed ban on large magazine clips…. “He just laughed,” Sarah Brady said approvingly of the president. Both she and her husband, she emphasized, had absolute confidence that the president was committed to regulation.

From this one should conclude that Obama is planning to do gun control by stealth — via some administrative rule or regulation by the executive branch — so as to bypass Congress, the legislative branch of government.
It is no accident that Steve Croley is Obama’s gun policy advisor. Croley has a background in administrative law and wrote a book on it in 2008, “Regulation and Public Interests: The Possibility of Good Regulatory Government.” Since last August, Croley has been Obama’s assistant for justice and regulatory policy. He favors closing a loophole in the law that allows unlicensed gun dealers to sell arms without background checks, especially at gun shows. In fact, Croley argues in his book that regulation is “the least-worst solution to pressing social problems.”
Sure enough, 18 days after that WaPo blog, on May 29, 2011, the UK’s Daily Mail confirmed our worst fears:

The Obama administration is exploring tighter regulation on gun policy that can be secured through an executive order, bypassing congressional approval, officials have confirmed…. The Department of Justice held a meeting on Tuesday – the first in what is expected to be a series – to explore how the administration might be able to rule by decree.”


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Obama's Post-November Strategy: Rule by Decree

Design by bkeyser: https://www.cafepress.com/RTKArtistry

A decree is a rule of law issued by a head of state, such as a king or queen. In the United States, the executive orders made by the President are decrees. In non-legal English usage, however, “decree” refers to any authoritarian decision and, in this sense, the word carries a decidedly negative connotation.
Rule by decree appears to be the route Obama will take after the expected defeat of Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections on November 2.
Peter Nicholas and Christi Parsons of the Los Angeles Times report on October 6, 2010:

As President Obama remakes his senior staff, he is also shaping a new approach for the second half of his term: to advance his agenda through executive actions he can take on his own, rather than pushing plans through an increasingly hostile Congress.
A flurry of staff departures and promotions is playing out as the White House ends a nearly two-year period of intense legislative activity. Where the original staff was built to give Obama maximum clout in Congress, the new White House team won’t need the same leverage with lawmakers….
Winning passage of legislation wasn’t easy for Obama, even with Democrats in firm control of both houses of Congress. Conditions will get tougher if, as expected, the Republicans pick up seats in the midterm election next month, or possibly take control of Congress.
“Whether or not the Republicans take over majorities in one or both houses, the margins will be so much narrower that the strategy of putting together a Democratic bill and picking off a handful of Republicans to push it over the top won’t be viable anymore,” said William Galston, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
So the best arena for Obama to execute his plans may be his own branch of government. That means more executive orders, more use of the bully pulpit, and more deployment of his ample regulatory powers and the wide-ranging rulemaking authority of his Cabinet members. “This would fit into the status quo for the White House,” said Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for House Republican whip Eric Cantor of Virginia. “The White House is showing no effort to work with Republicans. It has shown no interest in listening to the American people and has at all costs tried to ram through legislation that was tremendously unpopular.”

Here’s what Wikipedia says about Executive Orders:

U.S. Presidents have issued Executive Orders since 1789, usually to help officers and agencies of the Executive branch manage the operations within the Federal Government itself. Executive orders do have the full force of law since issuances are typically made in pursuance of certain Acts of Congress, some of which specifically delegate to the President some degree of discretionary power or are believed to have their authority for issuances based in a power inherently granted to the Executive by the Constitution.
But it is these cited or perceived justifications made by a President when authoring Executive Orders that have come under criticism for exceeding Executive authority and have been subject to legal proceedings even at various times throughout U.S. history concerning the legal validity or justification behind an order’s issuance.
Although there is no Constitutional provision or statute that explicitly permits Executive Orders, there is a vague grant of “executive power” given in Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution, and furthered by the declaration “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” made in Article II, Section 3, Clause 4. At the minimum, most Executive Orders use these Constitutional reasonings as the authorization allowing for their issuance to be justified as part of the President’s sworn duties….
Until the 1950s, there were no rules or guidelines outlining what the president could or could not do through an Executive Order. However, the Supreme Court ruled in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 US 579 (1952) that Executive Order 10340 from President Harry S. Truman placing all steel mills in the country under federal control was invalid because it attempted to make law, rather than clarify or act to further a law put forth by the Congress or the Constitution. Presidents since this decision have generally been careful to cite which specific laws under which they are acting when issuing new Executive Orders.

This means that America is not supine before Obama’s Rule by Decree. He is not king, but an elected official accountable to The People and subject to the Constitution. It will take Congress to challenge his Executive Orders and, eventually, for the Supreme Court — now packed with two Obama appointees puppets — to adjudicate on those orders’ constitutionality. And those two institutions — Congress and SCOTUS — will do what is right only with the insistence of the American people.
All of which means that We the People must remain vigilant even if we win the November elections. Remember what Thomas Jefferson wrote in his letter to Edward Carrington, 1787:

“If once they [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves.”

H/t beloved fellows FS and Tina.

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