Tags: Dershowitz | Obama | Congress | Game of Chicken | executive action

Dershowitz: Obama, Congress in 'Game of Chicken' on Executive Action

By    |   Wednesday, 12 November 2014 03:30 PM

Legal expert Alan Dershowitz tells Newsmax that "nobody knows" whether or not it's constitutional for President Barack Obama to use executive action on key issues such as immigration or Iran's nuclear program.

"There's a game of chicken going on," between Congress and the White House over executive action, Dershowitz told John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

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"Who will blink first? But the problem is they're both operating in the context of the unknown. Nobody knows how the courts will decide these cases."

Dershowitz, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, said Obama is asserting his authority as president to enact executive action, but that Congress, now controlled by Republicans, is asserting the authority given to it by the voters in last week's election.

"[Congress, is saying], 'Look at the most recent election, we now have the mandate,'" Dershowitz said.

Dershowitz said there are two key issues where Obama's use of executive action will be an issue. The first is on immigration and amnesty for illegals; the second is whether the president has authority to sign "a very, very bad deal with Iran over its nuclear program."

The courts could rule that any deal with Iran constitutes a treaty, which would require Congressional approval.

"You hear the myth that the president is entitled to make foreign policy — total nonsense. Treaties, for example, have to be confirmed by two-thirds of the Senate, ambassadors have to be confirmed by a majority of the Senate," he said.

"It's a divided authority and the courts have never been very clear as to how much authority the president has over issues like immigration," he added.

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According to Dershowitz these tensions have existed in both parties and since some of our earliest presidents.

"This is not a Democrat-Republican issue," he contends.

"From the time of Thomas Jefferson, who ran for president on the theory of a limited president and then had the Louisiana Purchase without any authorization from Congress, we see executives grabbing more and more and more power," he explained.

"The most recent President [George W.] Bush had these signing statements, which were a way to grab executive power," he said.

"Nobody knows ultimately how a lawsuit would come out if the president took action on his own, Congress filed a lawsuit, and it went up to the United States Supreme Court," he added.

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Legal expert Alan Dershowitz tells Newsmax that "nobody knows" whether or not it's constitutional for President Barack Obama to use executive action on key issues such as immigration or Iran's nuclear program.
Dershowitz, Obama, Congress, Game of Chicken, executive action
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2014-30-12
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 03:30 PM
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