The highest elected official in the United States dished out an extra helping of irony yesterday when, in speaking at a joint news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon, President Barack Obama slammed the Supreme Court as an “unelected group of people” who will have turned to “judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint” if they strike down Obamacare.
The President’s remarks imply that the Court, were it to rule the individual mandate unconstitutional, would be acting recklessly in undertaking judicial review of Congress’ unprecedented use of the Commerce Clause to force Americans to buy health care or pay a penalty. The irony in all this is that this President has presided over an Administration that is the epitome of recklessly abusing power, at times in flagrant violation of the Constitution, and has empowered unelected bureaucrats to write scads of new regulations impacting nearly every corner of American life.
Obamacare, of course, is a prime example of that unchecked and multiplying web of the President’s boundless dictates. The law’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (otherwise known as “IPAB”) is packed with unelected bureaucrats who have the power to limit seniors’ treatment options and access to care, essentially ending Medicare as we know it.
On top of IPAB, Obamacare is rife with new regulations, all courtesy of unelected bureaucrats. Professor of law Gary Lawson writes that the implementation of Obamcare “will require many years and literally thousands of administrative regulations, and those regulations will ultimately determine the substantive content and coverage of the law.” In other words, the future of health care in America will not be determined by the people’s elected representatives, but by administrative rulemakings handed down by unelected and largely unknown agency officials. How’s that for a “democratically elected government”?
Obamacare, though, isn’t the only example of the Obama Administration imposing its will via executive fiat. In a new study, Heritage’s James Gattuso and Diane Katz detail 106 new major federal regulations that added more than $46 billion per year in new costs for Americans. And those are regulations enacted not by elected officials who are accountable to voters, but by Washington bureaucrats who can wield their power without having to answer to the people.
While the President is throwing stones at the court, he’s living in a glass house from which he has exercised his tyrannical abuse of power. In January, the President cast aside the Constitution when he illegally appointed Richard Cordray to serve as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with three appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, all without Senate approval, as the Constitution requires. Former attorney general Ed Meese described the President’s actions as “a constitutional abuse of a high order,” and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said it was “a brazen attempt to undercut the role of the Senate to advise and consent the executive branch on appointments.”
And this is the President who said in December, “What I’m not gonna do is wait for Congress. So wherever we have an opportunity and I have the executive authority to go ahead and get some things done, we’re just gonna go ahead and do ‘em,” irrespective of whether the people’s duly elected representatives have a say in the matter.
Now that the President is seeing the potential for his signature legislation to go down in flames because of its unconstitutional individual mandate, he is lashing out at the Supreme Court. To date, President Obama has enjoyed ruling with impunity and has attempted to carry out his agenda without so much as a hat tip to the Constitution. But come June when the Court rules on Obamacare, the President might finally see part of his agenda stopped in its tracks.
- Voters in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia head to the polls today in the latest round of the Republican presidential primary election.
- Lavish spending on the taxpayer dime has come back to bite the chief of the General Services Administration, the agency that manages real estate for the government. Administrator Martha N. Johnson resigned amid reports of out-of-control spending at a Las Vegas conference.
- Though the economy is slowly recovering, the signs of a return to normalcy are harder to find in areas where housing prices plummeted. The New York Times reports that in those areas, “there is scant evidence of renewed prosperity.”
- In ever-increasing numbers, Chinese students are seeking admission to U.S. graduate schools, comprising half of all international applicants to such programs.
- Ecotality, a manufacturer of charging stations for electric vehicles that received $115 million in stimulus grants, is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission after failing to file its fourth quarter earnings report. Read the report on Heritage’s Scribe.