Only a King “Faithfully Executes the Law” This Way

November 15th, 2013

President Obama’s appearance yesterday announcing his “fix” to the Affordable Care Act was surreal.

It’s not just because we were actually witnessing a mea culpa from a man who makes a living off of blaming other people for everything that doesn’t go quite right.  Hearing him “remind” everyone that he said before he’s “not a perfect man” was completely out of character for him, but that’s not even the strangest part about yesterday.

This is a man whose resume includes Constitutional Law professor.  That would lead one to assume that he may know something about the Constitution.  I’m not saying it’s a guarantee by any means.  I attended law school, and I had one Property professor who wandered off topic so much that I really couldn’t swear that he knew a thing about the subject.  Still, we can hope that someone who is taking money for that particular job would know the basic difference between what the Constitution says the Congress is supposed to do (legislate or make the laws) and the president (who executes the laws).

That seems simple enough.

Even if President Obama had never set foot in a classroom purporting to teach Constitutional Law, however, he still holds a law degree from Harvard Law School.  He even served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Law Review.

If any law school is going teach the Constitution correctly, you’d think it would be Harvard (with all due respect to Yale).

So how is it that a Constitutional Law professor with a degree from Harvard got himself into this ridiculous mess?

And it is nothing less than a mess.

Yesterday, President Obama stood up and for yet another time tried to unilaterally rewrite the Affordable Care Act in order to try to get himself out of a political pickle.  Putting aside the fact that he probably only made things more confusing and worse, let’s just look at the fact that he really thought he could just stand up and with a wave of his hand and the sound of his voice change the law.

Today, his staff is trying to explain all of this by saying that he is simply exercising his administrative powers to implement the ACA.

Bullpucky! (As we polite Texas women like to say).

The Affordable Care Act plainly says in several places that certain events “shall” happen at certain times and in a certain manner.  In the many years I practiced administrative law, I never once saw anyone successfully argue that a “shall” meant “maybe” or “if the president agrees.”  No one that I’m aware of ever successfully got around that word “shall.”

So when the law says “shall” the president via the administrative agency responsible for implementing a given law must write regulations describing exactly how that “shall” will be executed.

This is one of the many things messed up about the ACA.  President Obama and his “team” have been thwarting the “shalls” written throughout this monstrosity of a law and no one is doing a thing about it.

That is until now. After numerous attempts to repeal the law only to be scorned and ridiculed by the mainstream media, Republicans now appear to be in a position to possibly do just that or at least to make very significant changes to the law.  Granted, President Obama still has the veto pen and is threatening to use it, but he’s in a much weaker position than he’s ever been in before in this regard.

Let’s hope that Republicans will finally meet with some success and that no unsuspecting law school student in the future will ever unwittingly pay good money to learn Constitutional Law at the feet of someone who mistakes the job of a president for that of a king.



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