The Corner

Congressional Democrats: Please, Mr. President, Take Our Legislative Powers

You remember that part of the Constitution that reads “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States”? Well, almost every Democrat in Congress has signed on to a document today saying, in effect, “never mind.”

It’s the Democrats’ amicus brief in Texas v. United States, the lawsuit by 26 states to stop Obama from unilaterally amnestying millions of illegal aliens by providing them work permits and Social Security numbers (under what he calls the DAPA program). The brief is here, signed by 223 House and Senate Democrats. (There are a total of 239 congressional Democrats, including the pseudo-congressmen; I haven’t seen a list of the non-signatories yet.) SCOTUSblog has the full background of the case, including all the rulings, briefs, etc.

I won’t plumb the legal depths here; Andy McCarthy, Ed Whelan, and others smarter than me are better qualified. But the policy upshot is clear, and should have been clear when Obama unilaterally granted amnesty in 2012 under the DACA program for “Dreamers.” President Obama – supported by his minions in Congress – is claiming nothing less than the authority of the president to admit any foreigner he wants into the country – in any numbers, from anywhere, for any reason, even if they’re statutorily barred – and to give work permits and Social Security numbers to any foreigner he wants – in any numbers, from anywhere, for any reason, even if they’re statutorily barred.

If Obama wins before the Supreme Court (oral argument is scheduled for April 18), most of Title 8 of the U.S. Code will be rendered a nullity. The entire edifice of immigration law – the categories, numerical limits, exclusions, exceptions, all of it – will be rendered meaningless. There would be no limitations on the president’s control over immigration; only naturalization would be outside the scope of his authority (until Chief Justice Obama gives that, too, to President Warren).

Congress has been yielding authority over many areas for years to successive presidents. But given the central role of immigration in shaping the nation’s future, Obama’s victory in this case would be one of the more important steps in the evolution of an entirely different form of government. We could call it the Principate.

The left, of course, is primarily responsible for the erosion of the rule of law, as this amicus brief reminds us yet again. But there are two words that might call Justices Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor, and Breyer to their duty, two words that might cause congressional Democrats to rediscover the separation of powers and the primacy of Congress:

“President Trump.”


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