Counting Down Obama’s Worst Executive Actions

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Last week, The Heritage Foundation put together a handy list of President Barack Obama’s most flagrant abuses of his pen and his phone.

Arguing that Obama has willfully set aside the Constitutional separation of powers in order to accomplish agenda items actions in unprecedentedly ambitious ways, Heritage starts at the bottom with the DOJ’s refusal, under Obama, to enforce standing Federal drug laws in States where marijuana has been made legal — and works its way to the top with Obamacare’s many examples of selective enforcement.

Here’s its top 10 ranking of Obama’s most unConsititutional executive actions… so far.

  1. Amending Obamacare’s employer mandate, providing an unauthorized subsidy to congressional staff, and encouraging state insurance commissioners not to enforce certain requirements.
  2. Inventing labor law “exemptions” in violation of the WARN Act so that workers would not receive notice of impending layoffs days before the 2012 election.
  3. Waiving the mandatory work requirement under the 1996 comprehensive welfare reform law, which required able-bodied adults to work, prepare for work, or look for work in order to receive benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
  4. Ignoring a statutory deadline and refusing to consider an application related to nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain, which activists sought to block for years.
  5. Circumventing the Senate’s duty to provide advice and consent on appointments and instead making “recess” appointments in violation of Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution when the Senate was actually in session.
  6. Deciding not to defend the constitutionality of the federal definition of marriage in court.
  7. Implementing Common Core national standards through strings-attached waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act.
  8. Intimidating Florida to stop its voter roll cleanup, which included removing ineligible voters such as noncitizens, before the 2012 election.
  9. Imposing the DREAM Act by executive fiat under the guise of “prosecutorial discretion.”
  10. Refusing to enforce federal drug laws in states that have legalized marijuana.

A note on No.10: It’s great that States have given their voters a choice on the marijuana issue. But the Obama Administration’s blind eye to marijuana enforcement in those States — which Federal law still very much prescribes — outs Obama’s hypocrisy over his relentless series of end runs to continue propping up the enforcement of the preclearance requirement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — a measure which the Supreme Court has unequivocally decided in the States’ favor.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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