Saturday, January 2, 2016
WHEN THE CONSTITUTION NEEDS TO BE CHANGED, ARTICLE V PROVIDES THE MEANS FOR AMENDMENTS AND “EXECUTIVE ORDER” IS NOT ONE OF THEM!
After the likes of former IRS Senior Official Lois Learner and State Department IT employee Bryan Pagliano both invoked their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination when appearing before Congress to testify about their obviously illegal misconduct, many Americans were not happy. Some may have even thought there should be some exceptions from Fifth Amendment protections when Government officials were questioned in regards to illegal conduct in the performance of their official duties but I never heard anyone suggest that the President should issue an Executive Order to unilaterally limit the application of the Fifth Amendment.
Why is it that some Gun Control zealots are now advocating that the President should issue an Executive Order to unilaterally limit the application of the Second Amendment. Would it not be a dangerous precedent to set if any President were to be allowed to get away with limiting the Constitutional protections through Executive Orders?
Think about it for a minute? Because the only legislative recourse against a President, any president, from abridging the Constitution is impeachment which requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate, unless an opposing party would have a super majority it is doubtful removal would be a remedy. Also, because the Attorney General serves at the leisure of the president, it stands to reason that a serving Attorney General would either support the president illegally abridging of the Constitution or be replaced with one that would. Hence, the only check to a president issuing an unconstitutional executive order is a Federal Court or the Supreme Court. Thankfully, the last questionable executive order President Obama issued concerning not enforcing US immigration law and temporarily granting status to illegal immigrants met with a stay by a Federal Judge which was ratified by the Supreme Court and its legality will be determined by the entire Court.
If gun control advocates are “certain” that the Founding Fathers never intended citizens to have the right of self protection using guns, could not conservatives be just as “certain” that those same Founding Fathers never intended that the right against self-incrimination was never intended to protect public servants who illegally misused their powers to target political opponents or to protect a secretary of state against censure for failing to protect TOP SECRET “information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.”
No one, not even a president can be certain of the “intent of the Founding Fathers” when writing the Constitution so we have to depend on what they put down on paper and the American people have empowered the Supreme Court to be the final arbiter to interpret their written words. Hopefully, we will always have a Supreme Court that puts the Constitution over personal preference and strictly adheres to what is actually contained in the document. Think how terrible it would be if a majority of Supreme Court Justices were to allow a president to abridge Constitutional rights of citizens through executive orders because they agreed with the results even though in their hearts they knew they were shredding the Constitution. It’s a slippery slope and once a president is allowed to abridge civil liberties by executive order then we have devolved into a nation with a King rather than one of laws.
Let’s never let any president, regardless of political party or the purity of their convictions, ever circumvent the Constitution and take away our civil liberties by executive order. When the Constitution needs to be “tweaked,” Article V allows for how it can be amended but no where in Article V is the “executive order” mentioned as a lawful way to change it.