Monday, August 11, 2014

Debating Executive Supremacy

This weekend, the New York Times editorial board embraced the cause of executive supremacy, sneering at bipartisan objections that a sweeping executive order by President Obama on immigration could have significant Constitutional implications.

Many on the left, though, maintain some skepticism about radically empowering the executive branch to nullify laws.  Drawing attention to the importance of norms for maintaining a constitutional republic, Jonathan Chait writes:
I fully support Obama’s immigration policy goals. But the defenses of Obama’s methods seem weak and short-sighted.
To imagine how this method might be dangerous, you have to abstract it away from the specific end it advances and consider another administration using similar methods for policies liberals might not like. What if a Republican president announced that he would stop enforcing the payment of estate taxes? Or suspend enforcement of regulations on industrial pollution? Or laws on workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians?
Noah Rothman has more thoughts here.

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