As the nation waits for President Barack Obama to unveil his plan to offer some form of limited amnesty to five million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States, many people are questioning the legality of an executive order. The Framers set forth a system of checks and balances that require presidential fidelity to the enforcement of laws. Even if the president does not agree with certain laws, the citizens, Congress, and the courts need to know that they will be enforced.
Judge Andrew Napolitano called President Obama’s planned executive amnesty “unlawful and profoundly unconstitutional” on Thursday morning’s Fox & Friends. He said that since the president is a former constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago law school, “he knows the Constitution very well.” The Judge noted that it is unconstitutional for the president to rewrite laws regardless of his intentions to make those laws more just.
He knows that he cannot rewrite the law of the land and he cannot nullify the law of the land, and that if the effect of his executive action is the functional equivalent of rewriting it or nullifying it, it’s wrong, it’s unlawful, it’s profoundly unconstitutional, and it’s disturbing, it’s destabilizing to the relationship of the Congress to the presidency and the courts.
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