Congress Considers Legislation To Respond To Executive Nonenforcement Of Federal Law

260px-capitol_building_full_viewThis morning I will be testifying before the House Judiciary Committee at 10 am. (I hope to post other stories after I return from Congress this afternoon) The hearing is entitled “Enforcing the President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws” and will explore the options for Congress in resisting the encroachment of executive power. I was critical of such encroachment under Professor George W. Bush and I believe that danger has grown under President Barack Obama. UPDATE: Here is the video link to the testimony.

Once again, it is often hard to divorce the policies objectives of this Administration from the means used to achieve those objectives. However, I believe we are witnessing a dangerous and destabilizing shift in our tripartite system of government. I hold this view despite my agreement with many of these policies.

Below is my testimony for the Committee:

Turley Enforcement Testimony

Jonathan Turley

109 thoughts on “Congress Considers Legislation To Respond To Executive Nonenforcement Of Federal Law”

  1. If you support Citizens United, then you do not support free speech for all Americans – you only support free speech for the super wealthy who use money to drown out the voices of the American people.

    Some Americans are rich and some are not. We all deserve to be heard in a democracy – but because of legislation like Citizens United – the US is no longer a democracy.

    Citizens United kills democracy. If that is what you support then we can agree to disagree. But deep down we all know what is right and what is not right.

    1. help america wrote: “If you support Citizens United, then you do not support free speech for all Americans…”

      Citizens United does not say that only the super wealthy get to vote. It says that every American can vote with their money. It says that if I earn money through my corporation and I want to produce a video to communicate why a certain candidate might be a good candidate for office, that I am allowed to do that. This helps EVERY American, not just the super wealthy. Why would you think that only the super wealthy would be allowed to do that?

      In regards to the US being a democracy, it never was. The US is a Republic. We have a measure of democracy built in, but we are not a democracy anymore than we are socialist or communist.

  2. Citizens United is the most destructive piece of legislation that has ever passed in the US and it is destroying America.

    How in the world could you possibly support it davidm2575? Are you part of the 1%?

    In a nutshell, Citizens United makes it possible for the 1% to take over the US and turn the rest of us into slaves.

    Citizens United is the end of America.

    1. I believe in free speech and the right to spend money to communicate viewpoints about elections.

      You don’t lessen the power of money by making laws that violate the principles of free speech.

  3. Folks:

    Here is a link to the video of the hearing:

    Click Here for Video

    Testimony begins at about 00:35:00 on the slider. The witness panel that includes Professor Turley begins at 01:14:00.

  4. I think that my parents generation would disagree with that and FDRs efforts to end the Depression were needed as were most of his reforms.. Thanks to Obama and the Democrats, I got my job back and my wife got health insurance which she could not get otherwise. Doing nothing was not a viable option, unless you were doing well and were willing to tell the rest of us to go to hell and starve and die off.

  5. Darren, AMEN!! I love gridlock, it’s the Hippocratic oath of libertarians like myself, “First do no harm.”

  6. Gus S. Calabrese (@99guspuppetx)
    This is silly…. pass a law to make people obey an existing law ? What the world needs now …. is love … and the elimination of many existing laws… not more layers
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure.
    
 — Thomas Jefferson
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Thank you! For years I’ve been saying that certain laws need repealing in their entirety – not just fixing a paragraph or section here or there, but ALL of the legislation that was written and/or amended to those original laws need to be taken off the books. That includes: Repealing Gramm-Leach-Bliley and reinstating Glass-Steagall (a “new” and toothless Glass-Steagall based on what bankers want is useless); repealing the AUMFs (there is no Article I power that can be transferred to the executive or judicial), Patriot Act(s) (we need all of our Constitutional rights back), MCA ’06 (taking away our habeas corpus rights is totally unconstitutional), FISA ’08 (telecoms had legions of lawyers who could tell them that spying on us is illegal and unconstitutional; they knew what they were doing was/is wrong), MCA ’09 (which never should have passed). Additionally, because religious people and groups have far too much input into secular legislation, Dumbya’s executive-order-created ‘office of faith-based initiatives’ which is still run through the White House needs abolishing and defunding (as a student of history, I know how murderous and cruel mixing religion and government has been, and could be again, since religions continue to interfere with the legislative process).

    ALL corporations need to be kicked out of government, health insurance needs to be turned over to the not-for-profit single-payer Medicare insurance and all citizens under retirement age should be able to buy into Medicare since we’re paying for it already.

    Other things badly need correcting, but that’s the short list of things that could be taken care of and repealed with one short piece of legislation.

    When Obama, the alleged con law prof, had not moved to correct any of those illegal and unconstitutional laws AND had not moved to investigate the lies and war crimes done by Dumbya and Dickie and their war criminal cohorts by 1 February ’09, I knew he’d be keeping all the illegal and unconstitutional horrors voted into being when Dumbya & Dickie ruled this country.

    Obama is in love with his image of himself as a “bipartisan compromiser” but he does not recognize how wrong that position is and how far backwards he and the obstinate racist & religious Republicans are taking this country.

    There are many things this nation can compromise on…, but when our “leaders” have taken away our rights and refuse to give them back, they’ve gone too far. No more compromises can be made, and we need new legislators who can correct their errors and bring this ship of state back on a true course.

  7. If a person believes “No one’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session” then gridlock can be viewed as beneficial

  8. Let’s see if I remember all I wish to say here… may spread it over a few posts. First and foremost, if anyone reading this has a way to alert Professor Turley to something, please tell him to read the email I sent him and Ambassador Bolton on the 15th, from “hogident@…” with subject “Attn In the event he’s deleted it as junk, I am just now ending it again. It’s of vital importance. (Thank you to those to whom it may apply.)

    To davidm… thank you for your kind words. I’ve been refining a number of analyses over the past year or so… I know in my head and heart I am correct. It astounds me that the sound bytes seem to convey everything but what appears to me to be unavoidably stark logic.

    In addition to the Provenance article, linked in an earlier post, above, and the article, “A Less Wright, More Perfect Union,” linked in an earlier post yesterday, there are others which I believe to be far more objective and direct, not to mention crucially relevant.

    Following at bottom are a couple I am not only molding as works in progress, but among several I’d really appreciate criticism, advice, commentary, etc. from all of you on. (I’d link more but Chuck is right that appending 3 or more hyperlinks sends a comment to blackout land, awaiting a moderator which never comes.)

    To victoria: 99.9999% of us are mutts, or implants, like you. My family sailed here from Rotterdam in 1750.

    Lastly, for now… the Statue in New York harbor is one of those things which, more and more, becomes less and less relevant. First, she was a gift, from France; not an American extension as an invitation. Second, the poem, which I have always thought of as typical of a country to which we owe our very independence, is not law, – the sense of humor of the French notwithstanding, it manifested that which the French perceived America to be: the new land to which all the misfits of the world could flee. Third, as the most the important – consider what she represents(ed).. freedom and liberty. Name one other time in American history when it could not have been any further from the truth. Remember the term “American Dream” was also a gift from foreigners,

    Any advise, comment or help you care to share (including discussion) is appreciated. Guess I need to create a blog:

    “Dear John: The Power of the Pen” spells it out, portrays CJ Roberts as a self-exhaulted one, accuses O of perjury, and more:

    http://www.norfolkchapter.org/Dear_John.html

    “Echoes of Freedom: Exercising Your Last Rights on the Issue of Gun(Mind) Control.” (Poor Piers lost his show.)

    http://www.norfolkchapter.org/Echoes_of_Freedom.html

    ‘Nuff said and done…

  9. If a flea farts over the Arabian Desert, the Islamist want to blow themselves up or blow up a building, or kill scores of human beings. Yet, Christians are being killed in the Middle East and not one Muslim leader has come forward and condemned the killing.

  10. I just heard that the Muslims are upset over a Katy Perry video and calling for it too to be censored. Yet, Christians are being killed in the Middle East and not one Muslim leader has stepped up and called for the killing to stop.

  11. david,
    democracy left the building as soon as McConnell and others announced that they would do everything in their power to block democratic actions. When you filibuster almost 500 times, something has to give. If you read what I wrote you will see that I agree with most of what Prof. Turley stated in his opening remarks. I don’t anything done in Washington by any branch can be understood without considering the politics. If you want to improve things David, you will have to get in line to end Citizens United because money is the real king here.

    1. rafflaw – problem is that I agree with the Citizens United decision. Money should be taken away from the rulers in Washington, because they did not earn it, but it’s power should not be taken away from the citizens. Citizens should be able to vote with their hard earned money.

      Also, I agree with filibustering. It is a way for the minority to be heard and explain their case. Government shutdowns are simply democracy in action. If you want to stop all that, then take steps to lessen the role of democracy in government.

      It seems to me that many Democrats only favor democracy when the rest of the people agree with them or they are enough in the majority that they can do what they want without discussion.

  12. Justin, “Progressives” want to go back to the days of trains. They want to go back to pre vaccine days. So, going w/ disgraced old politicians is @ least being consistent.

    1. nick spinelli, your point of “2006: “Hillary presumptive nominee.” is spot on.

      I hope Hillary after Barack Obama is not the direction our country wants to go in. She has too much baggage, literally and figuratively speaking.

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