Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
23 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » Religion, Sex, and Politics

Subject: Who's in favor of ENFORCE? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm curious who comes down on which side among the right-leaning folks here in RSP. I am pretty sure anyone leaning left hates it for various knee-jerk reasons, but hey, surprise me if I'm wrong! The Bill is DOA in the senate but still, it is a strange beast. It's obviously yet another 'we hate Obama' spinning of the wheels, but it also has other facets people may or may not like.

There's the 'Rule of Law' thing, demanding the president enforce every law fully or be sued. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Does it prevent Executive abuses, or does it turn the president's position into a puppet 'middle manager' for the legilature?

State's Rights. Where do you come down on this? There is obvious conflict in both directions on this. You've got calls to enforce drug policy against state law, while at the same time proponents of the bill seem to favor state laws directly in conflict with federal laws on other issues.

Separation of powers. Will allowing the legislative branch to sue a sitting president undermine the separation, will it glut our already overburdened judicial branch further? Will The net result be to reduce the E and the L to screaming children(further) while ultimately concentrating power in the hands of the Judicial even further(since they decide the cases).

Anything else I've not thought of is fair game too. Elucidate me. This isn't meant to bring out blanket judgements of the positions of the right as a whole, just to examine this one piece of legislation and how it shakes out in comparison to those overall positions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boaty McBoatface
England
County of Essex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Will they enforce it when a Republican sits in the hot seat?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It goes against separation of powers. The Constitution has taken enough of a beating in recent years.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boaty McBoatface
England
County of Essex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ancillary to the above, is this an admission by the Republicans that they have little chance of winning in 2016 (or even this year), so are trying to limit the powers of the president (for purely partisan reasons) whilst they still have a chance?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J
United States
Lexington
Kentucky
flag msg tools
admin
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's just theatre. They know it will never become law. It's red meat for their base.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Was hoping to get an actual R's (or Libs) take on this. Not just a left-ish echo chamber. (even if my own opinions are similar)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In the US, one thing everyone across the political spectrum, Liberal, Moderate or Conservative, used to agree on was that one must not screw with the basic protections of the Constitution. Conservatives tended toward Strict Constructionism and liberals to Loose Constructionism in their respective interpretation Moderates typically emphasized pragmatic interpretation.

Via the Patriot Act and various other means, the US gov't has rendered the US Constitution into a sham paraded out to whip up nationalistic pride but protecting nobody and nothing except the interests of those in power. The more traditional Liberals and Conservatives now form the political fringe and have come to look a lot alike because they now have markedly similar concerns, especially the breakdown of the system of meaningful checks and balances and hence of limits to gov't power and intrusiveness at all levels. On the books, the US gov't has the power to arrest without charge anyone anywhere in the world without due process; anyone can be arrested and taken away at any time for virtually any reason or no reason at all. Americans would probably not stand by while the gov't openly uses that power at its own discretion, but the practical limitations are steadily wearing away.

The US is well on its way to becoming a police state and it's not the fault of one administration nor one party. The Tea Party seems to me to sense something is wrong but to fix the mess asks for more of the same.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walker
United States
Birmingham
Alabama
flag msg tools
"The significance of a person's life is determined by the story they believe themselves to be in." - Wendell Berry "If nothing lies beyond the pale of death, then nothing of value lies before it." - SMBC
badge
Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song, the joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue. Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last, has won my affection and bound my soul fast.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shadrach wrote:
I'm curious who comes down on which side among the right-leaning folks here in RSP. I am pretty sure anyone leaning left hates it for various knee-jerk reasons, but hey, surprise me if I'm wrong! The Bill is DOA in the senate but still, it is a strange beast. It's obviously yet another 'we hate Obama' spinning of the wheels, but it also has other facets people may or may not like.

There's the 'Rule of Law' thing, demanding the president enforce every law fully or be sued. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Does it prevent Executive abuses, or does it turn the president's position into a puppet 'middle manager' for the legilature?

State's Rights. Where do you come down on this? There is obvious conflict in both directions on this. You've got calls to enforce drug policy against state law, while at the same time proponents of the bill seem to favor state laws directly in conflict with federal laws on other issues.

Separation of powers. Will allowing the legislative branch to sue a sitting president undermine the separation, will it glut our already overburdened judicial branch further? Will The net result be to reduce the E and the L to screaming children(further) while ultimately concentrating power in the hands of the Judicial even further(since they decide the cases).

Anything else I've not thought of is fair game too. Elucidate me. This isn't meant to bring out blanket judgements of the positions of the right as a whole, just to examine this one piece of legislation and how it shakes out in comparison to those overall positions.


I believe under current law, the executive branch is required to report to congress why it may choose not to enforce a given law. If congress objects to this vigorously, it can impeach the president or others.

I think some leeway to the executive branch in what laws it enforces is reasonable. However, I would argue that these objections ought to primarily be based on the constitutionality of the law. That is, reporting to congress that the president declines to enforce a law because it is unconstitutional is quite reasonable to me. The problem comes when the whims of the executive become the means by which it is decided which laws are enforced or not. Obama, I think, has done both. The stated reason for not enforcing DOMA, as I recall, was that it was unconstitutional, a sentiment the court later agreed with. In contrast, as far as I'm aware there's no constitutional reason for the Obama administration's failure to enforce various immigration laws- the administration simply doesn't like them. That's a very different kettle of fish and I don't think a congressional review of it would be unreasonable. Using the courts to settle such a dispute, should it arise, is probably reasonable. When a court rules on the issue, both parties ought to be bound by it, of course.

Since the President's primary duty is to see that the laws of the land are faithfully executed, I would argue the President is obligated to execute the laws, including laws he personally disagrees with, in most cases. It seems to me that the cases where this obligation is removed are places where enforcing a law would constitute a violation of a higher law- the constitution, or possibly the moral law. In this way, the President still remains bound by the rule of law, choosing to enforce a higher law rather than a lower one. I tend to think that these are the only legitimate grounds for the President to refuse to enforce a law.

So, all that said, it's likely ENFORCE goes too far. However, I could see certain reforms in this area being helpful- for instance, providing another avenue for dialogue between congress and the president on matters of this sort, or directing the executive branch as to what kind of reasons they should present to congress if they decline to enforce a law (ie, requiring the specific constitutional objection to the law to be detailed).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
twomillionbucks wrote:
Shadrach wrote:
I'm curious who comes down on which side among the right-leaning folks here in RSP. I am pretty sure anyone leaning left hates it for various knee-jerk reasons, but hey, surprise me if I'm wrong! The Bill is DOA in the senate but still, it is a strange beast. It's obviously yet another 'we hate Obama' spinning of the wheels, but it also has other facets people may or may not like.

There's the 'Rule of Law' thing, demanding the president enforce every law fully or be sued. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Does it prevent Executive abuses, or does it turn the president's position into a puppet 'middle manager' for the legilature?

State's Rights. Where do you come down on this? There is obvious conflict in both directions on this. You've got calls to enforce drug policy against state law, while at the same time proponents of the bill seem to favor state laws directly in conflict with federal laws on other issues.

Separation of powers. Will allowing the legislative branch to sue a sitting president undermine the separation, will it glut our already overburdened judicial branch further? Will The net result be to reduce the E and the L to screaming children(further) while ultimately concentrating power in the hands of the Judicial even further(since they decide the cases).

Anything else I've not thought of is fair game too. Elucidate me. This isn't meant to bring out blanket judgements of the positions of the right as a whole, just to examine this one piece of legislation and how it shakes out in comparison to those overall positions.


I believe under current law, the executive branch is required to report to congress why it may choose not to enforce a given law. If congress objects to this vigorously, it can impeach the president or others.

I think some leeway to the executive branch in what laws it enforces is reasonable. However, I would argue that these objections ought to primarily be based on the constitutionality of the law. That is, reporting to congress that the president declines to enforce a law because it is unconstitutional is quite reasonable to me. The problem comes when the whims of the executive become the means by which it is decided which laws are enforced or not. Obama, I think, has done both. The stated reason for not enforcing DOMA, as I recall, was that it was unconstitutional, a sentiment the court later agreed with. In contrast, as far as I'm aware there's no constitutional reason for the Obama administration's failure to enforce various immigration laws- the administration simply doesn't like them. That's a very different kettle of fish and I don't think a congressional review of it would be unreasonable. Using the courts to settle such a dispute, should it arise, is probably reasonable. When a court rules on the issue, both parties ought to be bound by it, of course.

Since the President's primary duty is to see that the laws of the land are faithfully executed, I would argue the President is obligated to execute the laws, including laws he personally disagrees with, in most cases. It seems to me that the cases where this obligation is removed are places where enforcing a law would constitute a violation of a higher law- the constitution, or possibly the moral law. In this way, the President still remains bound by the rule of law, choosing to enforce a higher law rather than a lower one. I tend to think that these are the only legitimate grounds for the President to refuse to enforce a law.

So, all that said, it's likely ENFORCE goes too far. However, I could see certain reforms in this area being helpful- for instance, providing another avenue for dialogue between congress and the president on matters of this sort, or directing the executive branch as to what kind of reasons they should present to congress if they decline to enforce a law (ie, requiring the specific constitutional objection to the law to be detailed).


Thanks for the reply! I can tell you out front though the blanket 'easy out' statement would always be 'We have to prioritize where we spend our funds.' So skipping on enforcement of illegals brought into the US as children allows them to spend that money elsewhere. Skipping on prosecuting weed in states where it is legal lets them fight more heroin etc etc. It's a conveniently hard to 'disprove' excuse for whichever side does it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walker
United States
Birmingham
Alabama
flag msg tools
"The significance of a person's life is determined by the story they believe themselves to be in." - Wendell Berry "If nothing lies beyond the pale of death, then nothing of value lies before it." - SMBC
badge
Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song, the joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue. Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last, has won my affection and bound my soul fast.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shadrach wrote:
Thanks for the reply! I can tell you out front though the blanket 'easy out' statement would always be 'We have to prioritize where we spend our funds.' So skipping on enforcement of illegals brought into the US as children allows them to spend that money elsewhere. Skipping on prosecuting weed in states where it is legal lets them fight more heroin etc etc. It's a conveniently hard to 'disprove' excuse for whichever side does it.


I tend to think this isn't an excuse that should be unilaterally recognized- at the very least it should be subject to some sort of congressional review. There's a place for saving funds, but I think the founders likely intended for congress to by largely in control of the purse strings.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Damian
United States
Enfield
Connecticut
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
I remember Bush getting hammered for his signing statements and refusing to enforce laws (especially relating to Guantanamo). I can't imagine this is a Pandora's box either party wants to open.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
twomillionbucks wrote:
Shadrach wrote:
Thanks for the reply! I can tell you out front though the blanket 'easy out' statement would always be 'We have to prioritize where we spend our funds.' So skipping on enforcement of illegals brought into the US as children allows them to spend that money elsewhere. Skipping on prosecuting weed in states where it is legal lets them fight more heroin etc etc. It's a conveniently hard to 'disprove' excuse for whichever side does it.


I tend to think this isn't an excuse that should be unilaterally recognized- at the very least it should be subject to some sort of congressional review. There's a place for saving funds, but I think the founders likely intended for congress to by largely in control of the purse strings.


I did not say saving money, I said allocation of funds. There is a huge difference. The president is not legally *allowed* to save money if I recall. He is obligated to spend the money congress outlines in the bills it passes. In almost every venue 'more need than money' is the rule. So, it's not *if* a department spends the money it is given it is *on what* it spends, and the prioritizing of things should I think remain with the executive branch, that's it's job.

One could ague the immigration issue as saying 'Obama refuses to enforce the laws by deporting the children of illegal immigrants', OOorr one could spin it 'Obama prioritizes the capture of illegal-immigrant felons over the persecution of children'. Replace 'Obama' with 'Bush' 'Regan' 'Palin' and the line still works.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Gray
United States
Bayfield
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shadrach wrote:
Was hoping to get an actual R's (or Libs) take on this. Not just a left-ish echo chamber.


It's RSP, I thought this was the leftist echo chamber.

I am not going to come out in favor on ENFORCE because I haven't actually researched it. It has no chance of becoming law, so I do not plan on wasting the time.

That being said, I do wish the executive would faithfully execute the law as intended without all this theater. I know Obama is not the first, but who was the first dumb-ass to say "Hey, let just not do out jobs and fail to enforce this rightfully passed law!"

I understand the executive has some discretion in day-to-day operations, just as your local DA can decide whether or not to prosecute. But executive discretion is very different than making public announcements that you are just not going to enforce this law or prosecute that group or people. It's like your local Sheriff just refusing to prosecute a certain law (let's say trespassing whistle). What would the reaction be? WTF? Why aren't you enforcing trespassing anymore?!?!

A simplistic example, but my point is why would you even want an executive that basically refuses to do his job? I'm sure Bush did this here and there; throw them at me, I'll probably disagree with his ass too.

In the end, I'm not really in favor of the law for the legal reasons already mentioned (separation of powers, more power to the Judicial).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dynamiteboy80 wrote:
Shadrach wrote:
Was hoping to get an actual R's (or Libs) take on this. Not just a left-ish echo chamber.


It's RSP, I thought this was the leftist echo chamber.

I am not going to come out in favor on ENFORCE because I haven't actually researched it. It has no chance of becoming law, so I do not plan on wasting the time.

That being said, I do wish the executive would faithfully execute the law as intended without all this theater. I know Obama is not the first, but who was the first dumb-ass to say "Hey, let just not do out jobs and fail to enforce this rightfully passed law!"

I understand the executive has some discretion in day-to-day operations, just as your local DA can decide whether or not to prosecute. But executive discretion is very different than making public announcements that you are just not going to enforce this law or prosecute that group or people. It's like your local Sheriff just refusing to prosecute a certain law (let's say trespassing whistle). What would the reaction be? WTF? Why aren't you enforcing trespassing anymore?!?!

A simplistic example, but my point is why would you even want an executive that basically refuses to do his job? I'm sure Bush did this here and there; throw them at me, I'll probably disagree with his ass too.

In the end, I'm not really in favor of the law for the legal reasons already mentioned (separation of powers, more power to the Judicial).


Thanks for the response! And for the record there are lots of laws on the books that aren't enforced in anything like a strict or comprehensive manner. I live in a college town. Jaywalking isn't a crime, it's a way of life.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Gray
United States
Bayfield
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shadrach wrote:
Thanks for the response! And for the record there are lots of laws on the books that aren't enforced in anything like a strict or comprehensive manner. I live in a college town. Jaywalking isn't a crime, it's a way of life.


Oh, I know. But there's a difference between "Nobody cares if I jaywalk" and "The dream act didn't work out, but I'm not going to arrest or deport any of these 500,000* people anyway".

My questions is, when does "discretion" cross the line into "dereliction of duty"? I know that's not a punishable offense or anything (I don't think), but seriously, where do the American people draw they line and demand that our laws be enforced by the people that are supposed to enforce them?

*I forget the exact number. 800,000? I went low to be safe.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James King
United States
North Central Louisiana / No Longer A Resident of the Shreveport/Bossier City Area
Louisiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb


Shadrach wrote:
I'm curious who comes down on which side among the right-leaning folks here in RSP. I am pretty sure anyone leaning left hates it for various knee-jerk reasons, but hey, surprise me if I'm wrong! The Bill is DOA in the senate but still, it is a strange beast. It's obviously yet another 'we hate Obama' spinning of the wheels, but it also has other facets people may or may not like.

There's the 'Rule of Law' thing, demanding the president enforce every law fully or be sued. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Does it prevent Executive abuses, or does it turn the president's position into a puppet 'middle manager' for the legislature?

State's Rights. Where do you come down on this? There is obvious conflict in both directions on this. You've got calls to enforce drug policy against state law, while at the same time proponents of the bill seem to favor state laws directly in conflict with federal laws on other issues.

Separation of powers. Will allowing the legislative branch to sue a sitting president undermine the separation, will it glut our already overburdened judicial branch further? Will The net result be to reduce the E and the L to screaming children(further) while ultimately concentrating power in the hands of the Judicial even further(since they decide the cases).

Anything else I've not thought of is fair game too. Elucidate me. This isn't meant to bring out blanket judgements of the positions of the right as a whole, just to examine this one piece of legislation and how it shakes out in comparison to those overall positions.

The following Huffington Post news story excerpt provides the best overview of what ENFORCE is all about.

Since most of the Republicans responsible for drafting the ENFORCE bill are not embraced by the various Tea Parties as being genuinely in their fold, they apparently drafted this bill in part to bolster and earn their Tea Party creds.

(The lone Tea Party Republican congressman involved in the drafting of the bill is bolded in red in the story excerpt below.)



> Excerpt from the March 14, 2014 Huffington Post news story by Matt Ferner:

House Republicans Want To Sue The President For Not Arresting People For Marijuana

The Republican-controlled House passed legislation on Thursday to force President Barack Obama to crack down on states that have legalized marijuana in any form.

Introduced by Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the ENFORCE the Law Act (H.R. 4138) would allow the House or the Senate to sue the president for "failure to faithfully execute federal laws," including those related to immigration, health care and marijuana....

A Judiciary Committee report submitted by Goodlatte last week regarding H.R. 4138 chastised the Obama administration for selective enforcement of the Controlled Substance Act, which prohibits marijuana outright. "The decision by the Obama administration not to enforce the CSA in entire states is not a a valid exercise of prosecutorial discretion," the report reads. "The guidance of U.S. Attorneys establishes a formal, department-wide policy of selective non-enforcement of an Act of Congress. This infringes on Congress's lawmaking authority, by, in effect, amending the flat prohibitions of the CSA to permit the possession, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana so long as that conduct is in compliance with state law."

The report goes on to describe the Obama administration's actions on marijuana policy as an "impermissible suspension of the law by executive fiat."

But Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) told The Huffington Post that he is not alone in the Capitol in his support of the administration's position not to interfere with state marijuana laws, adding that while states continue to craft sensible marijuana policy, Congress continues to drag its feet with bills like this one.

"It doesn't seem right to me to continue to waste our limited resources punishing people for doing something when it's legal under state law, the majority of Americans want it to be legal, and much more dangerous drugs like heroin are making a comeback," Blumenauer said. "I'd rather stop arresting two–thirds of a million people a year for marijuana possession and generate $100 billion over 10 years through taxes and savings."

Twenty states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana. More than a dozen other states are pursuing legalization in some form over the next several years, and a recent poll showed a majority of Americans want marijuana to be legalized.

Still, the federal government continues to ban the plant, classifying it as a Schedule I substance that is among "the most dangerous" drugs, such as heroin and LSD, that are said to have "no currently accepted medical use."....

Some Republicans who have supported relaxed federal marijuana legislation in the past voted Thursday in support of the ENFORCE Act, including Rep. Mike Coffman (Colo.), who joined Colorado Democrats in urging federal regulators to give marijuana-related businesses access to traditional financial services, and Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.), Justin Amash (Mich.) and Don Young (Alaska), who sponsored the "Respect State Marijuana Laws Act" in 2013 -- a bill explicitly aimed at preventing the federal government from prosecuting state-legal, state-licensed marijuana businesses and their owners.


____________________________________________________



The Republican Party has depended upon the Prison Industrial Complex for much of its campaign contributions over the past 30 years. Lobbyists for the for-profit prison companies succeeded in pushing Congress for stiffening penalties for non-violent drug crimes and thus keep their for-profit prison cells filled. The Prison Industrial Complex naturally fears it won't continue to prosper or be able to build new prisons if non-violent drug crimes are decriminalized and their penalties lessened. Like the hotel industry, for-profit prisons profit by keeping their prison cells filled.

The other wrinkle to the story is that African Americans and Hispanics are imprisoned for non-violent drug crimes at a much higher rate than whites even though drug-using whites far outnumber African Americans and Hispanics combined. Decriminalizing non-violent drug crimes would end up releasing more minority drug offenders from prisons and naturally, their numbers would portend even more daunting prospects for Republican candidates to face at the voting polls at election time as most of those released minority drug offenders would likely register as Democrats.


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dynamiteboy80 wrote:
Shadrach wrote:
Thanks for the response! And for the record there are lots of laws on the books that aren't enforced in anything like a strict or comprehensive manner. I live in a college town. Jaywalking isn't a crime, it's a way of life.


Oh, I know. But there's a difference between "Nobody cares if I jaywalk" and "The dream act didn't work out, but I'm not going to arrest or deport any of these 500,000* people anyway".

My questions is, when does "discretion" cross the line into "dereliction of duty"? I know that's not a punishable offense or anything (I don't think), but seriously, where do the American people draw they line and demand that our laws be enforced by the people that are supposed to enforce them?

*I forget the exact number. 800,000? I went low to be safe.


The answer is:It is not a hard fast/line. That is why we are supposed to elect people whose judgement we trust(or campaign harder to get our preferred candidate elected next time around) Exactly how much would it cost to round up 500-800K people who were brought here as children, incarcerate them, go through the proper legal hoops, and finally deport them? I'm not even talking emotional/touchy-feely costs either. I am talking raw cash/time. Would you prefer this or chasing known felons who've snuck in illegally? It's not a 100% either or scenario, but there's not enough money/people to do everything, so where do you want to focus? He made a call, the next president will make another one, but that is a part of their job.

Giving Congress the power to sue the president doesn't create a hard line. It just creates another judgement call, this time by a much smaller group than the electorate whose own election process(for the house) is rigged by an even smaller committee every 10 years. I'd call that an even lower bar for accountability.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken
United States
Crystal Lake
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dynamiteboy80 wrote:
Oh, I know. But there's a difference between "Nobody cares if I jaywalk" and "The dream act didn't work out, but I'm not going to arrest or deport any of these 500,000* people anyway".


That's not quite the basis for the decision. Incarcerating and/or processing the people who aren't being pursued right now is immensely costly and of highly questionable value - many end up worse off, families end up broken up, and many end up back in the states anyway. So the focus is on people who have committed other crimes.

I'd very much like to see us reform immigration law along a number of fronts, but it doesn't strike me as being inappropriate for an executive to direct available resources. And the processing/deportation of the people that aren't being pursued cost a ton of money that basically left the Border Patrol/INS/DHS strapped for cash.

Besides, Congress already has oversight authority and control over the purse. They could make political theater out of it (which obviously, they aren't interested in because they aren't) and/or specifically allocate funds that had to be spent to pursue these individuals.

I'll be the first to agree with you that the power of the executive branch has grown in some very alarming ways and continues to do so. But "fixing" that is more of an overhaul of the Constitution and system of government than anything else and I doubt that there's the political will for that. Hell, there's so much American exceptionalism around that the arguments one might make that the system needs fixing are likely to fall on hostile, let alone deaf, ears.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Gray
United States
Bayfield
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
perfalbion wrote:
dynamiteboy80 wrote:
Oh, I know. But there's a difference between "Nobody cares if I jaywalk" and "The dream act didn't work out, but I'm not going to arrest or deport any of these 500,000* people anyway".


That's not quite the basis for the decision. Incarcerating and/or processing the people who aren't being pursued right now is immensely costly and of highly questionable value - many end up worse off, families end up broken up, and many end up back in the states anyway. So the focus is on people who have committed other crimes.

I'd very much like to see us reform immigration law along a number of fronts, but it doesn't strike me as being inappropriate for an executive to direct available resources. And the processing/deportation of the people that aren't being pursued cost a ton of money that basically left the Border Patrol/INS/DHS strapped for cash.


He's not the first to fail to adequately enforce immigration laws. But he does seem to be the first one to be proud of it. Not having or allocating the resources is different than refusing to do it and then making public statements for purely political reasons that you are not enforcing it.

perfalbion wrote:
Besides, Congress already has oversight authority and control over the purse. They could make political theater out of it (which obviously, they aren't interested in because they aren't) and/or specifically allocate funds that had to be spent to pursue these individuals.

I'll be the first to agree with you that the power of the executive branch has grown in some very alarming ways and continues to do so. But "fixing" that is more of an overhaul of the Constitution and system of government than anything else and I doubt that there's the political will for that. Hell, there's so much American exceptionalism around that the arguments one might make that the system needs fixing are likely to fall on hostile, let alone deaf, ears.


I find it interesting that you would want to "overhaul the constitution". I would like to see a constitutional convention in order to reinforce the existing document, it has been twisted and trampled by all branches over the years. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you are on the left? Apart from "fixing" the executive branch, what other systemic changes would you want? I find it interesting that we both could go for constitutional changes, but I have a feeling our changes would be vastly different.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken
United States
Crystal Lake
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dynamiteboy80 wrote:
But he does seem to be the first one to be proud of it.


This is just hogwash. It's spin and not productive. I understand and support enforcing immigration law, but our current system is just a mess that's in need of cleaning up. Until there's a serious discussion on immigration reform (which is pretty much dead in the legislature), it makes little sense to allocate resources to many of the areas that are currently criminalized in existing law.

Quote:
Apart from "fixing" the executive branch, what other systemic changes would you want?


I think you're dramatically underestimating the amount of work required to do this. Any shift to the balance of power between the branches will require either re-writing or dramatically amending the Constitution. And if you really want to "fix" the executive branch, then it's very likely that you're looking at altering our system to move towards something more parliamentary in nature. We're the only democracy with a distinct presidency that hasn't failed since the founding of our nation, and it's arguable that we're starting to see signs of failure in our core system right now.

But if I had to include other changes, I'd mandate instant runoff or preference voting, removing all drawing of districts for federal office from the hands of the state legislatures, and I'd probably eliminate anything other than public funding for candidates running for office. Instant runoff/preference voting probably also requires a move towards a parliamentary system as well - it doesn't make much sense to require coalition building if executive powers won't be invested in the nominal head of the coalition.

A stand-alone executive has been a recipe for disaster in every other nation that has tried it. We're now starting to see executive power rise to a level that should be worrisome and a trend towards growing executive power that should be even more so. Throw in legislative gridlock (that wouldn't appear to be about to change in upcoming elections) and you create an environment where executive decisions are even more important and lasting. I don't like that trend at all, nor do I like the potential for abuse it creates.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
G L
United States
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Courts have consistently interpreted Article II to give the President wide prosecutorial discretion. Why is this only now a controversy, rather than when Bush pardoned Scooter Libby, for example? Or when the ICE under Bush deprioritized the deportment of members of the Armed Services in 2007? Or nursing mothers in 2004?

What happens under ENFORCE when fully enforcing all of the laws written by Congress is a logical or logistical impossibility? The immigration and marijuana examples seem to be pragmatic decisions as to what level of crime to target finite resources towards prosecuting. For example, funds in the war on drugs are arguably better spent on interdiction efforts, and targeting more societally dangerous drugs (like meth, etc.)

Given prison overcrowding, under-funded law enforcement, mandatory minimum statutes written in a way that give little discretion, increasingly uncooperative state governments who have already shifted enforcement levels or decriminalized themselves, and that the entirety of the War on Drugs is built on impossible and unconstitutional premises to begin with... what exactly is Obama supposed to do? Why is the mass of stupid and contradictory laws his fault? And why are the usual libertarian defenders of nullification silent when states decide to legalize pot, rather than refuse to enforce the ACA?

What about when the President's duty to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution is clearly in conflict with an act of Congress? It was a waste of resources to defend DOMA against challenge, and there wasn't a legally colorable argument for its constitutionality.

What about when similar conflicts arise between, say, the existence of the debt ceiling and the section of the 14th amendment that says the validity of the public debt of the United States shall not be questioned?

Ironically, if this passes, Obama will also be forced to deport that German home school family that has become the darling of the religious right. Yes, that's right, the very same Republican Congressmen who oppose the DREAM Act and support ENFORCE also want Obama to maintain indefinite deferred status and not deport the Romeike family despite the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled they are not eligible for asylum.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Schaeffer
United States
Unspecified
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
twomillionbucks wrote:
I believe under current law, the executive branch is required to report to congress why it may choose not to enforce a given law. If congress objects to this vigorously, it can impeach the president or others.


I believe I went through this in another thread, but I'm not sure if I posted it. Current law requires the AG or other DOJ officer to report to Congress when they establish a policy to refrain from enforcing a particular law on the grounds that they believe it is unconstitutional.

The companion bill to the ENFORCE Act would expand that to cover any federal official (presumably including the President, although the President is already required to make a similar report for unclassified Executive orders), and require the official to report to Congress any time they establish a policy to refrain from enforcing the law for any reason, and explain the reason.

There is no explicit remedy in the current law for failure to file the report, but more importantly, there is no rememdy in the current law for "Congress doesn't like the reason." The ENFORCE Act would allow Congress to sue the President for failing to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed" (Article II, Sec. 3, fifth clause), and the remedy for that would be, basically, an injunction to do whatever it was the President had chosen not to do (or vice versa, I suppose).

So Congress (the legislative branch) would establish the laws, and then use the federal courts(the judicial branch) to prevent the President (the executive branch) from executing the laws in the way he sees fit. I'm pretty sure there's a separation of powers issue there. (I would not be surprised if the federal courts refused to hear a Congressional lawsuit against the President.)

Quote:
The stated reason for not enforcing DOMA, as I recall, was that it was unconstitutional, a sentiment the court later agreed with. In contrast, as far as I'm aware there's no constitutional reason for the Obama administration's failure to enforce various immigration laws- the administration simply doesn't like them. That's a very different kettle of fish and I don't think a congressional review of it would be unreasonable. Using the courts to settle such a dispute, should it arise, is probably reasonable. When a court rules on the issue, both parties ought to be bound by it, of course.


Again, there's a major separation of powers issue. Congress can establish the law, but it can't dictate how that law gets enforced, where the President prioritizes the funding (that Congress does or doesn't appropriate) for enforcement, etc. And I don't think the courts will play this game either.

Quote:
So, all that said, it's likely ENFORCE goes too far. However, I could see certain reforms in this area being helpful- for instance, providing another avenue for dialogue between congress and the president on matters of this sort, or directing the executive branch as to what kind of reasons they should present to congress if they decline to enforce a law (ie, requiring the specific constitutional objection to the law to be detailed).


Why? The one rock-solid fact about the separation of powers is that no branch is superior to any other branch. There are already remedies if one branch oversteps its authority, but there is no principle that the President's executive authority is subordinate to the Congress's legislative authority. Where the drafters of the Constitution wanted Congress to have input into the President's executive decisions, they wrote it in (e.g., "advise and consent" for appointments). Otherwise, unless someone violates the Constitution, the branches have pretty broad authority within their respective spheres.

(Note, the "take care" clause does not require that the executive simply do everything Congress tells it to do, word for word. Congress can't tell the President how to execute the law. It's primarily about making sure that the authority to execute laws is delegated somewhere within the executive branch that can do so.)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Ellis
United States
Brookline
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Anyone charged with enforcing rules and given limited resources to do so (i.e. anyone charged with enforcing rules) must make judgments about how to prioritize using those resources. Anyone charged with enforcing rules that are not 100% clear (which many laws are not) must make decisions about how to interpret the rules.

Outside observers can easily disagree with these decisions and some oversight is obviously needed. Our system of government gives Congress some oversight role but the ultimate recourse is elections; if the President isn't doing his job (in whatever form) the people get to make that call.

This bill, or any like it, represents a substantial shift in the balance of power away from what the Constitution envisions (which is why I doubt it would hold up to a SCOTUS challenge) and in a way that I do not think is advisable. I think I would hold the same view if this were a Democratic move to limit the power of a Republican President.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.