Monday, June 18, 2012

Prosecutorial Discretion

Media Matters and the Obamabots are all excited because the new Obama policy of not deporting specified illegal immigrants was not done in the form of an “Executive Order,” but is merely an exercise of “prosecutorial discretion.” According to their article, that practice is “consistent with the current law and has decades of precedent.”

What constitution? We don’t need no steenking constitution.

Article II, Section 3, of our constitution includes in the responsibilities of the President that, “he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” It would be nice for Media Matters and the Obamabots if it concluded that phrase with the words, “at his discretion,” but it does not, nor does it give him that kind of discretion anywhere else.

Media Matters claims that “prosecutorial discretion” is “consistent with the current law.” Do they seriously claim that Congress passed a law at some point which said that they were okay with selective enforcement of they laws which they pass? Does, “We’re going to pass laws, and the President can blow them off whenever he feels like it,” sound like any Congress this nation has ever had?

The practice, they say, also has “decades of precedent.” Well, so does starting wars without the approval of Congress, but that doesn’t make the practice acceptable. Okay, bad example, since that’s another constitutional clause which has become obsolete.

So it doesn’t matter whether he used an Executive Order, a Memorandum, or gave the direction verbally, the point is that a law passed by Congress is being unenforced at his direction, and that is a violation of the responsibility placed on him by the constitution of this nation. There is no provision for impeachment of a President for failure to perform his assigned duties, but we should certainly not reelect him when he deliberately announces that he is unwilling to fulfill a specific responsibility of his office.

Obama himself, on March 28, 2011, acknowledged that he could not do what he did last week at a Univision (Spanish television) town hall meeting,

"There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system, that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president."

Of course he was not campaigning for reelection at that point, and the Hispanic voting block was not a big issue for him at the moment.

Obamabots are going to claim that while he admitted he cannot do it through “executive order” he can do it through “prosecutorial discretion,” but that argument is nonsensical if you actually consider the phrase “ignore those congressional mandates.” To suggest that he cannot ignore them by one method but can do so by a different method is sheer idiocy.

Under the constitution he cannot refuse to enforce the laws passed by Congress, and the method he uses to avoid that responsibility is irrelevant. Conformation to the dictates of the constitution is not trivial. That piece of paper is the document which defines our nation, and if we abandon it we have nothing.

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