Past performance is no guarantee of future results:
— Headline of op-ed at the New York Times by Louis Michael Seidman, a constitutional law professor (no, really), December 31st, 2013.
— Headline at Hot Air today, where Ed Morrissey adds:
I expect the Obama administration and the Department of Justice to express their shock, shock at the defiance of the separation of powers inherent in these actions. And I’m sure they’d get right on them, except that the White House and the DoJ have their hands full trying to address a couple of other issues:
- The unilateral decision not to enforce several of the statutory deadlines in ObamaCare that Congress passed under the direction of the Obama administration
- Eric Holder’s refusal to comply with Congressional subpoenas through the specious use of executive privilege
- The harassing of conservative groups by the IRS, which has produced no action from the DoJ despite a multitude of evidence produced by Congress
- The attempt by HHS to limit the freedom of religious expression to “worship” spaces only without Congressional involvement
- The investigation of the NSA’s domestic surveillance by James Clapper, who lied to Congress about the extent of that domestic surveillance in the first place
And so on. If this imperial-executive model is good enough for the federal government, don’t expect the states to eschew it for very long for their own priorities.
And The Raj Koothrappali Approach to Constitutional Law rolls on:
REYNOLDS: I call this the Raj Koothrappali approach to Constitutional Law. I don’t know if you watch Big Bang Theory, but Raj is Indian of course, and he’s lecturing his sister from India on Hindu rules about modesty and sexual propriety, and she just looks at him and says, “You’re talking to me about this, as you’re eating a cheeseburger!” He just looks at her and says, “Some of it makes sense; some of it’s crazy – whatta do?!” And that’s basically the Seidman approach to the Constitution, right? The parts he likes make sense, and the others are crazy – whatta do?
Here’s the problem with public officials — because that’s really [Seidman’s] audience — deciding to ignore the Constitution: If you’re the president, if you’re a member of Congress, if you are a TSA agent, the only reason why somebody should listen to what you say, instead of horsewhipping you out of town for your impertinence, is because you exercise power via the Constitution. If the Constitution doesn’t count, you don’t have any legitimate power. You’re a thief, a brigand, an officious busybody, somebody who should be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail for trying to exercise power you don’t possess.
So if we’re going to start ignoring the Constitution, I’m fine with that. The first part I’m going to start ignoring is the part that says, I have to do whatever they say.
Perhaps the Gray Lady will employ the Animal House Defense is called on by sheriffs who’ve already gotten a jump on the the Raj Koothrappali approach: “You f***ed up… you trusted us!”
But then, who trusts the New York Times these days?