If this is an administration that stretches criminal statutes beyond their actual words, it is also happy to ignore the words of the Constitution and of the Senate, as a unanimous court ruled in Noel Canning v. NLRB.
Obama claimed that he could nominate three members of the National Labor Relations Board without Senate confirmation under the Constitution’s clause permitting such nominations during “the recess” of the Congress.
But he did so while the Senate was going into session every three days. “The Senate is in session when it says it is,” wrote Justice Stephen Breyer.
The increased proportion of unanimous Supreme Court decisions — the highest proportion over the last year since 1940 — may owe something to Roberts’ striving for unanimity and to justices’ willingness to decide cases on narrow grounds on which all nine can agree.
But it also owes something to what Kagan might describe as the administration’s chutzpah, a word she has used in decisions.
The cases cited here involve different principles, statutes, and constitutional provisions. But in each, we see an administration inclined to lawlessness, to statism if not authoritarianism, a government that is bossy and eager to push people around.
Americans have evidently noticed. In a Rasmussen poll, a startling 44 percent of voters agree that Obama has been less faithful to the Constitution than most presidents. There’s reason to conclude that all nine Supreme Court justices agree.
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