Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Uncharted Territory

At the Washington Post, Karen Tumulty and Katie Zezima note that the president's case for executive supremacy will "will expand the authority of the executive branch into murky, uncharted territory."

Meanwhile, Michael D. Shear at the New York Times also draws attention to the historical ironies of President Obama's potentially sweeping executive actions on immigration:
[President Obama is] poised to ignore stark warnings that executive action on immigration would amount to “violating our laws” and would be “very difficult to defend legally.”
Those warnings came not from Republican lawmakers but from Mr. Obama himself.
Some in the media seem increasingly to be worrying about the broader implications of the president's case for a super-charged executive branch.  (Even some voices in The New Republic are starting to express concerns.)  Charles C.W. Cooke asserts the importance of Constitutional norms for the Republic---and fears that the president's actions may imperil some of these norms.

It remains unclear whether congressional Democrats will sign on to the case for executive supremacy.  Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, Patty Murray, Bob Menendez and Michael Bennet all signed a letter cheering the president's reported desire to take more power for himself.  But Greg Sargent passes along the worries of various activists that some Democrats might not be so sure about executive supremacy:
Among the Democrats believed to be at risk are Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp, Jon Tester, Claire McCaskill, and Joe Donnelly. Angus King (who is an independent but caucuses with Dems) is also a question mark.
Jeanne Shaheen, when she ran for reelection, was critical about the president taking executive action.  And retiring Michigan senator Carl Levin has now implied that the GOP's desire to confront the president on sweeping executive action would be quite legitimate.  In the days ahead, might not more Democrats, having realized the implications of the Obama precedent, step forward?

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