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Jonathan Turley: 'Obama Doesn't Have License to Go It Alone'

By    |   Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 06:53 AM

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley is a longtime critic of what he terms executive overreach by President Barack Obama, but he told Fox News that his use now of "memoranda" pulls even further from James Madison’s idea of the separation of powers.

"We’re becoming even less formal," Turley said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity." "We’ve gone from presidential orders to memoranda, and we’re de-evolving in that sense away from what the framers wanted."

Turley said he voted for Obama and agrees with much of his agenda, but not with how he is instituting it. He has testified before Congress that the legislative branch is willingly giving up its power to the president by not challenging his overuse of executive orders on gun control, Obamacare, and now immigration.

USA Today examined Obama’s use of executive orders and executive memoranda, finding he actually has issued more memoranda than orders.

Obama has claimed he hasn’t used as many executive orders as previous presidents, which is true, but USA Today notes that the memoranda have the same force of law as do orders, making them essentially no different except in name.

When combined, Obama has issued more executive actions per year in office than any president since Jimmy Carter.

"We don’t have a license to go it alone in the United States," Turley told Fox’s Sean Hannity.

Turley warns that America is at a constitutional tipping point, facing a country where the president has far more power than the legislative or judicial branches.

"That’s what makes this so dangerous. We are dealing with what is becoming a different type of system," he said.

The framers of the Constitution believed the separation of powers would protect individual liberty, he said, and an imperial president could eventually erode personal freedoms.

He said lawsuits challenging Obama’s executive actions are one way to combat him. And Congress has power of the purse, but Obama has shown there are limits even to that, he said.

Obama ordered changes to healthcare unilaterally, and did not get appropriations to fund it, Turley noted, and, "The Libyan war was funded entirely out of discretionary funds."

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George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley is a longtime critic of what he terms executive overreach by President Barack Obama, but he told Fox News that his use now of "memoranda" pulls even further from James Madison's idea of the separation of powers.
orders, obama, memoranda, constitution, powers
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2014-53-18
Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 06:53 AM
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