Congressman Smith to Obama: Enforce the Laws as Congress Wrote Them
by Lamar Smith on February 26, 2014 at 2:15 PM
The Obama Administration has ignored laws, failed to enforce laws, undermined laws, and changed laws by executive orders and administrative actions.
These include laws covering health care, immigration, marriage, drugs, and welfare requirements.
Other presidents have issued more executive orders but no president has issued so many broad and expansive executive orders that stretch the Constitution to its breaking point.
As for not enforcing laws, in 2011 the President instructed the Attorney General not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. This Monday, the Attorney General declared that state attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws they believe are discriminatory.
At other times, the President has decided not to enforce immigration laws as they apply to entire categories of individuals.
And the President has decreed a dozen changes to the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
But neither the President nor the Attorney General have the constitutional right to make or change laws themselves – that is what happens in a dictatorship or a totalitarian government.
The President and the Attorney General do have a constitutional obligation to enforce existing laws. If they think a law is unconstitutional, they should wait for the courts to rule. But their opinion is no substitute for due process and judicial review. It is their job to enforce existing laws, whether they personally like them or not.
Ours is a nation of laws, not a nation of random enforcement. To put personal preferences above democratically approved laws reeks of arrogance and conceit, especially when citizens could be penalized or jailed for not following those same laws. Officials violate the Constitution they have sworn to uphold if they ignore laws or counsel others to do so.
All true reform starts with the voice of the people. If American voters rise up and speak loudly enough, they will be heard in the corridors of the White House and in the halls of Congress.