Thursday, November 20, 2014

Perhaps Shockingly Legal

I don't assume President Obama will announce "lawless" changes to our immigration policy tonight.

The changes may run contrary to the spirit of the election, but that's the way politics work--you use your power until you don't have it.

But I suspect that the president will stay within the lines in his executive order. Really, it is more shocking to ponder how much authority Congress grants to the executive to write administrative law to carry out statutory language. That's why the Obamacare rules are so much longer than the already-large law.

Congress will need to start explicitly denying executive agencies the authority to promulgate rules to carry out laws or severely restrict their authority. And perhaps start changing existing authority.

Rules can be a valuable tool for Congress to give the executive branch to avoid putting needlessly technical language into statutes.

But given how legislation itself has grown to monstrous size, along with the staffs to write that language, we're way past the time when Congress couldn't just draft the laws themselves to provide the details that conform to what Congress actually intends.

UPDATE: The president's decision seems rather ... large. I'll wait for better analysis than the initial reactions.

A calm but firm response may be in order that rejects the action but denies the president the victim card the way President Clinton played the opposition.

Besides, right now I'm more worried that the president will grant amnesty to Iran's nuclear ambitions.

UPDATE: And let me add that if a Republican president had justified sweeping government policy on scripture (setting aside the dubious relevancy of the quotes), the Left would be screaming about Christianist theocracy taking hold in America. But everyone knows that the Biblical quotes are just a thin veneer over political posturing, so there are no complaints from the left side of the aisle.

UPDATE: This seems about right. Tip to Instapundit.

And initial legal thoughts. Limits were considered and set. The author will have more by this weekend. Also tip to Instapundit.

I have no idea if the limits accepted --expansive as they seem to be--in the president's action would pass court review.

Nor do I know if it will even get to a review if Congress and the president come to an agreement for legislative action.

UPDATE: Although there is one former "law professor" on record against such actions, in general.

Perhaps the problem is that the former community organizer likes the idea.