Once again President Obama demonstrates a stunning disregard for a duly enacted statute. Using what he apparently views as his executive authority to pick and choose which statutes to enforce and which to ignore, he grants a blanket exemption to businesses from compliance with a central feature of his own signature health-care statute. His action is not too dissimilar from his announcement last year that he would unilaterally implement the DREAM Act, which had hitherto languished in Congress, by declining to deport any and all deportation-eligible illegals who met the requirements of the never-enacted statute.
George W. Bush caught holy hell for issuing signing statements that announced that he would either decline to implement laws that raised significant constitutional problems (such as laws that encroached on his executive powers in areas of national security and foreign relations) or read such laws narrowly to avoid those constitutional issues. It will be very interesting to see how President Bush’s critics respond to President Obama’s latest gambit, which declines to implement on policy (not constitututional) grounds his signature legislative accomplishment. Will crickets once again be heard to chirp?