Dick Morris: Congress, High Court Reining in Runaway Obama

Thursday, 26 Jun 2014 06:12 PM

By Sean Piccoli

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The Supreme Court and Congress are collectively putting the brakes on an Obama White House that has exceeded its authority, political analyst Dick Morris told Newsmax TV on Thursday.

Newsmax contributor Morris told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that recent actions by lawmakers and the high court will prove "very damaging" to President Barack Obama, and could be just the beginning of a larger power shift away from the presidency — starting with Obama's

What we're seeing now, said Morris, is "the other two branches government kicking back at this expansion of executive authority."

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The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday that the president cannot decide for himself when the Senate is officially on break and use that rationale to fill key federal posts that ordinarily require Senate approval.

Morris called the ruling "a judicial stop sign" for Obama and, he predicted, "the beginning of a series of court rulings that will rein him in."

He said the court this week also placed limits on the regulatory reach of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Morris said it was no coincidence that House Majority Leader John Boehner picked the same week to announce that he will sue the president for abusing his powers by using executive orders to skirt Congress.

Through executive orders, the president has raised the minimum wage for federal contractors and barred them from discriminating against gay employees, extended workplace family-leave rights to all same-sex couples, and ended the deportation of illegal immigrants who arrived here as children.

The suit will begin as a House bill authorizing legal proceedings against the president, with lawmakers voting on it in July.

Some observers already claim Boehner's planned lawsuit is a political gesture meant to impress House conservatives who chafe at his leadership and consider him too cozy with the Washington establishment.

Whether or not Boehner has legal standing — as in a legitimate claim to be an injured party — is an open question. But Morris argued, "The issue of standing will be resolved as the case unfolds."

Another unanimous Supreme Court ruling this week, to protect cellphones from warrantless police searches, will likewise add momentum to Congress' push for more electronic data privacy, said Morris.

The House last week voted overwhelmingly, 293 to 123, to bar the National Security Agency from conducting so-called "backdoor searches," which permit collection of Americans' online data if the ultimate target of the search is foreign.

Morris called the vote "veto-proof" and said that because the NSA clampdown is embedded in a defense funding bill, the White House will be hard pressed to object to it.

Another rapidly advancing measure, the E-Mail Privacy Act, would limit the NSA's access to online correspondence, and already has more than half the House as co-sponsors before it's even come to a floor vote.

Morris said the executive authority has still another problem brewing: the conduct of the Internal Revenue Service, which remains under intense congressional scrutiny for targeting politically conservative fundraisers.

Morris said the disappearance of subpoenaed emails from a central figure in the inquiry, IRS employee Lois Lerner, suggests "there may well be a smoking gun" that could tie the White House to a scandal of impeachable proportions.

"This one really could go all the way," said Morris.

Just don't expect Lerner — who is rumored to be a candidate for immunity from prosecution — to aid the investigation, he said.

"I think Lois Lerner is a left-wing ideologue who will gladly take a bullet for the team," said Morris.

Even with immunity, he said, "She still isn't going to tell the truth."

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