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Ruler in chief?

Published: Monday, Sept. 2, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Constitutionally, before Barack Obama, a bipartisan effort is how laws were changed.

Have a problem. Hold hearings. Find some new arrangement. Ratified by Congress. Signed by the president.

That was before 2008. Now, the attorney general, a liberal in a hurry, ordered all U.S. attorneys to simply stop charging nonviolent, non-gang-related drug defendants with crimes that, while fitting the offense, carry mandatory sentences. In other words, evade the law.

This administration unilaterally waived Obamacare’s cap on a patient’s annual out-of-pocket expenses, a one-year exemption for selected health insurers that is nowhere permitted in the law. It was simply decreed by an obscure Labor Department regulation. Also, the administration’s equally lawless suspension of one of the cornerstones of Obamacare, the employer mandate for one-year.

Then a presidentially directed 70 percent plus subsidy for the insurance premiums paid by congressmen and their personal staffs, under a law that denies subsidies for anyone that well off.

In 2012, the immigration service was ordered to cease proceedings against young illegal immigrants brought here as children. Congress had refused to pass such a law (Dream Act) only 18 months earlier. But with the fast approach of an election, Obama unilaterally issued his executive order.

It’s not what you think about the merits of the Dream Act, or of mandatory drug sentences, or of subsidizing health-care premiums for members of Congress. The point is whether a president, charged with faithfully executing the laws that Congress enacts, may create, ignore, suspend and/or amend the law at will.

Robert Meale

Woodstock

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