Tag Archives: Ferguson Missouri

An Executive Order or New Legislation?

AP News

AP News

For months President Obama warned Congress that it had to take steps to “fix the nation’s broken immigration system.” He never said specifically what he wanted Congress to do, besides to pass a bill. Whenever the opportunity presented itself the President publicly declared his intention to fix the problem on his own if the Congress failed to act. He never shied away from mentioning that he was ready to use an executive order to deal, what he claimed, were serious defects in the nation’s immigration laws and policy. He reminded his detractors that he had already used his powers to help the “Dreamers.” The defeats suffered by Democrats in the mid-term elections served as a signal to the President that his time to act had come.

The President informed the press that he would address the nation during prime time to announce his action on immigration. Always looking for free political publicity the President hoped that the big three television networks would have carried his speech but they all declined the invitation. The networks did not want to in be interrupted their scheduled shows. Regardless, the President’s show went on. President Obama announced that he would sign an order that would allow about 5 million undocumented aliens who were parents of children born in the United State or were parents of dreamers to avoid deportation and be eligible for work permits. His executive order remains in effect for only three years. You can listen to the entire address here.

Leading up to the speech the White House and some immigration advocates leaked details of the President’s contemplated executive order. Consequently, even before the President’s appearance on T.V. Democrats and Republicans had already begun arguing over the legality of the President’s order and it political ramifications. Some legal commentators have gone so far as to suggest that centuries of expanding presidential power coupled with congressional ineptitude has resulted in change in the balance of power. It seems that by either habit or default the Executive Branch has become more powerful than the Founding Fathers could have imagined.

Did President Obama overstep his legal authority in issuing his immigration executive order? I think he did. It is imperative that Congress act to restore the balance between the branches of government if America is going continue to have a healthy  democracy.

The constitution does not contain any specific clause on the issuance of executive orders. Regardless of the specific absence of any constitutional language it is universally agreed that a president may issue executive orders to help officers and agencies of the Executive Branch manage their operations. Over the years Presidents have increased their usage of executive orders and expanded their reach. I think that this increase corresponds to the growing complexity of American society. These orders almost always related to the enforcement of an existing law. President Obama in the issuance of his executive order reasoned that he had the power not to enforce the laws of the land and to fundamentally alter existing law. Some constitutional experts argue that President Obama enacted new law under the guise of an executive order. I agree with these experts’ point of view.

We should not forget that when the President Obama was running for office he stated that a president should not invent powers that the he did not have. He campaigned on platform that criticized then President George Bush’s use of executive orders. The then candidate Obama believed that the office of the president should respect Congress’ purview. He was a true champion of the doctrine of separation of powers. He even rejected early calls to use his executive powers to bring about changes in the immigration laws. Was all of this just political double talk that should be excused? It has to be noted when issuing his recent executive order on immigration President Obama abandoned all pretense that he was ardent supporter of the separation of powers. He did not even try to hide the fact that he had done his best to bypass congress. It is this clear hypocrisy that has caused so much political consternation over the President’s initiative.

Two days before the President officially announced his executive order his right to issue the contemplated order was vigorously debated in the New York Times, Opinion Pages, under the Room to Debate Section. Six well know legal scholars split on the question of the President’s legal authority issue the order. The legal debate was spirited and supported by recognized legal authority. Each expert had their own particular legal reason for advocating their point of view.

On Ferguson – The System Isn’t Broken, It Was Built This Way

On Ferguson – The System Isn’t Broken, It Was Built This Way.

The views expressed in this post are seductively attractive. Yet, many Blacks that I know would not support them. I am one of them.NYPost.com picture

I reject as ludicrous the idea that only Blacks qualify to formulate corrective strategies for the addressing racial injustices. In my opinion the solution to this problem is beyond the means of any one group of people. History has shown that the intellectual fuel for driving social change often comes from those not subjected to the injustices they seek to change. I also think that American Blacks need to develop new collaborative relationships to invigorate the march towards a better a station in life. What has happened and is happening in Ferguson Missouri is a tragedy playing out on the global stage. Unfortunately Blacks in Ferguson are being judged not for their message but the manner in which they express it.

It seems like the author grew up in the comfort and security of a loving family. She looked forward to spending summers with relatives who lived hours away. I think that parents who sacrifice to offer a pro-social lifestyle instill good family values and useful social skills in their kids. Does anyone dare throw into today’s debate Michael Brown’s upbringing experiences? Is the subject too taboo for some?

The post’s lengthy discussion of the uncle who was a policeman leads to me to conclude that he was proud of his profession. It appears that he wanted to share his learning experiences as an officer. Perhaps he wanted teach his young wards something about the criminal justice system. Unless I am completely misreading and misinterpreting this post the author has fond memories of her days with this particular uncle. What is wrong with this?

The author draws our attention to the fact that the uncle told her that the police were there to protect her. Was he lying? Nowhere in the post is there a hint that the uncle was really saying; “niece this judicial system only serves the interests of White people.” Let’s not crucify the uncle for not saying this; he probably focused more on providing his niece with some (fatherly) civic lessons than pointing out the failures of Canadian judicial-police system to treat everyone equally. Unfortunately the author does not reveal if she ever discussed with her uncle this topic. It be interesting to know what his thoughts were.

 I wonder… what are the personal and educational endeavors that the author uses to formulate her conclusion that the American judicial system was built only for White people? Has the system over the years involved to be more inclusive? Clearly having some Black friends does not qualify the author or anybody as an authority on the problems of race in the American. Granted, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

The author’s call to arms of White (Canadians?) people to join Blacks in their fight for civil justice is only a repetition a decades old refrain. The old alliances formed in the turbulent 60s between White liberals and Black activists have long ago dissolved. The natural progression of time has led to that generation of freedom fighters and intellectuals to pass on. America has changed drastically in the intervening years. The relationship between the author’s vaunted Liberals and Blacks has not progressed with the times.

The events feeding the current debate indicate that White liberals still have not developed the courage to criticize on any level their Black allies. It seems like the Whites who the author calls to task for not doing enough are reluctant to argue more intellectual and substantive points out of fear of being labeled a raciest by their Black allies. What an ironic set of circumstances.