Congress must immediately cut off funds to the Obama administration and then “start having hearings about whether they are fit for office,” author and national-security expert Andrew C. McCarthy told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.
“The Framers . . . gave Congress very considerable tools with which to rein in the executive branch, the main one of which is to start cutting money off,” McCarthy, who co-chairs the Center for Law & Counter-Terrorism at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, told Newsmax.
“Obama and his agencies cannot carry out their agenda if Congress, which has power of the purse, does not appropriate and provide money for it.
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“When you have officials of the government who are carrying lawless policies, I think the first thing you do is cut off their funds – and the next thing you do is start having hearings about whether they are fit for office or not and whether they have actually committed lawless acts of a dimension that merits being removed from office,” he said.
President Barack Obama’s decision last week to grant amnesty to certain children of illegal immigrants fits squarely into this category – smacking of dictatorialism and violating the rule of law, McCarthy said.
“Congress has acted” on the immigration issue, McCarthy said. “It simply has said ‘no.’ Several times, Congress has considered the possibility of either comprehensive immigration reform, as they put it, or a limited remedy for people who . . . find themselves in the United States without legal status through no fault of their own. Congress has considered that and rejected it.
“But in our system, that’s the way things work. The people’s representatives enact law, and the President enforces law. And the President takes an oath to preserve, protect and defend the system that I believe that Obama is undermining.
“Because the President, in our system, does not have the power to pronounce positive law – and here, the President is not merely saying he won’t enforce the immigration law, he’s actually proposing to give positive benefits of status to this class of illegal aliens – which he is utterly incapable of doing under our Constitutional system,” he said.
As for violating the rule of law, McCarthy said: “Yes, I don’t think there’s any question about it. I think that when Obama talks about the rule of law, what you should be hearing is himself as the ruler of law. Because, in his view of it, he is the master of what the law is, not its servant, which is what the President is supposed to be in our system.
“The Justice Department talks about the rule of law. The Obama administration talks about the rule of law all the time. But they have politicized it and run rough-shod over it from their very first day in power. And this latest incident, while the context of immigration is no doubt important, the presumptuousness of Obama in issuing this edict – and it really is an edict – wherein he proposes to grant positive rights to people that he has no power under the Constitution to propose, is just mind-boggling. It really does turn our system upside down.”
Lawsuits won’t work, either, the former U.S. Attorney said. “Here’s the problem that you have with lawsuits: And, again, if people can bring lawsuits and get by the fairly high-standing requirement, there’s a prejudice in our law against having the courts decide matters of public policy. The courts are there to correct the deprivation of rights. They’re mainly there to correct the deprivation of rights by the government to the people.
“But if you can have lawsuits that can satisfy the standing requirement and make the executive branch stand down from some of these excesses that they’ve been guilty of, I’m all for it.
“The problem is that lawsuits take a very long time to get through the system – and the problems that we have are immediate,” McCarthy added. “They need to be addressed in the here and now. They can’t really be addressed on a litigation track.
“And the other problem is, frankly, Obama has now appointed probably half of the federal judiciary, certainly in the lower courts. So there’s no guarantee that you’re going to get satisfaction out of some of these courts because they, too, have becomes politicized.”
The Supreme Court’s decision on Arizona’s immigration law may also complicate things for the White House, McCarthy said. “Anything that the court does in the area of immigration could complicate the administration’s policy priorities in that area,” he said.
“But when Obama says that he’s got discretion not to enforce the law, that’s a different matter than saying that a state does not have the capacity to enforce the law if the federal law doesn’t want to enforce the law.
“I have to say that I think that immigration, as a matter of law, is something that went off the rail over a century ago when we indulged a bedrock premise that the Framers would have found to be ridiculous, which is that immigration enforcement is primarily the job of the federal government.
“What the Constitution says is that it’s Congress’ job to set the terms for naturalization,” McCarthy continued. “But when our country was first founded as a constitutional government, it was assumed that the states were going to be the primary vehicle for exercise of the police power and that it was the states that would have the obligation and the power to police people within their borders who shouldn’t have been within their borders.
“And over time, I think the federal government, through the courts, has usurped that power from the states. And the problem with that is, if the states are sovereign, a primary ingredient of sovereignty is self-defense – and that means being able to police the inside of your borders and force out people who don’t belong inside your borders. Once you say that they no longer have that power, they no longer have a basic ingredient of sovereignty and then you’re really at the mercy of the federal government.
“Obama has taken it one step further. The law up until Obama was that, basically, the states had been pre-empted by the statutes of Congress. I think that was bad enough. But now in the Arizona case, we have a state that is trying to comply with the statutes of Congress and is being told to stand down because it’s not in concert with the administration’s policy, which is a very different thing from Congressional statutes.
“Indeed, the Obama administration immigration policy is antithetical to the laws of Congress, which actually would have an ingredient of enforcement against people who are in the country illegally.”
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