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Pushing the envelope

By Jim Killebrew

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[July 01, 2014]  Okay, we have all been listening to the news and watching television programs proclaiming the decisions of the United States Supreme Court regarding a variety of issues. Those issues have been aimed at the President's Administration side-stepping the Congress or trying to force American citizens to do things against their will or their religious beliefs. In fact, the news reporters rehearsed the past SCOUS decisions, now up to 13, that has caused a ruffle in the White House. Unconstitutional recess appointments; appointments apparently made by the President when Congress was not in recess and privacy issues of arresting officers taking personal phones without warrants.

With the latest ones being a high-profile case associated with the Healthcare law requiring conscientious objectors to provide contraceptives for female employees will have many ramifications in the business world. The interesting element of the decisions sparked a rehearsal of the fact that many of the decisions have been made by the SCOUS on a 9-0 basis. We were told that even Justices whom the President appointed went against his overstepping the Constitution.

One of the troubling things about this entire issue is the fact that the President ran on his experience and education as having been a "Constitutional" attorney. He was touted as the editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review and was seen as an "expert" on the Constitution. Yet, after his election, twice, to the Office of President of the United States, we see the Supreme Court slapping down one action after another from the President who claims to be an expert on the Constitution. If he really knows what the Constitution says and has the interpretations in sync with the entire Supreme Court on those issues in which they have ruled against, then one wonders what his motives are to engage in decisions and actions that are so far outside the Constitution.

With that having been said, perhaps we should begin to think in terms of his pushing the envelope to the point of having to be called in by the Supreme Court that he has done all those things by design. Remember he warned us about his desire to "fundamentally change America." Throughout his Presidency he has moved in directions that even the layperson who has never studied the law knows something is askew. Many of these actions associated with the 13 times the Supreme Court has unanimously rebuffed him have been clearly thought to be extra-Constitutional. Of course, the Supreme Court has now verified that.

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One has to question too, the White House Counsel and their advice regarding his taking the actions he takes. Now, the ramifications of his actions will be far-reaching. The decisions made by the National Labor-Relations Board (NLRB) will have to be studied to determine what effect they have on the corporate/labor relationship; how many decisions will now have to be reversed? Who will be hurt by such decisions? The same for the requirement of the Obamacare for corporate ownership required to pay for contraception. How many policies will have to be re-written? Who will pay for it now; will it be the taxpayer paying for individual contraception? Will the Obamacare law have to be changed by Congress, or will the President simply use his pen and phone again? If that should happen, how will that affect the pending lawsuit from the House of Representatives claiming he has violated the separation of powers between the branches of government?

Perhaps the most pressing question we should ask ourselves as citizens is, "In light of the decisions from the Supreme Court regarding these issues, how much further is this President willing to go in continuing to make similar decisions and taking similar actions during the remainder of his term?


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