All presidents have issued executive orders dealing with a plethora of subjects, not least because they are often stymied by either the Congress or the Courts in advancing agendas that conflict with both public opinion and state constitutions and/or laws. President Obama may be the worst “offender” in this matter.
The Obama Administration’s actions at the end of August went beyond the scope of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Windsor decision. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in that decision clearly states that marriage law is the purview of the states: “[T]he definition and regulation of marriage has been treated as being within the authority and realm of the separate States.”
Notwithstanding that ruling, Obama has decreed (executive order or a regulation by some czar or agency, same thing) that federal perks will be available to same-sex “married” couples no matter where they live, thus negating the constitutions and laws in most states, where such “marriages” are illegal. This means that two men in Kentucky can file a joint federal tax return but not a joint state return, even though the state return data is derived from the federal return.
Obama has no respect for states’ rights. If the men are not married in the state of their residence, they are not married at all, federal executive orders or regulations notwithstanding. Marriage is local, not national, according to the Constitution and Justice Kennedy.
Executive Order No. 13492, 22 January 2009: Sec. 3. Closure of Detention Facilities at Guanta´ namo. The detention facilities at Guanta´namo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order. If any individuals covered by this order remain in detention at Guanta´namo at the time of closure of those detention facilities, they shall be returned to their home country, released, transferred to a third country, or transferred to another United States detention facility in a manner consistent with law and the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.
Executive Order No. 13567, 07 March 2011: Sec. 9(d): Nothing in this order, and no determination made under this order, shall be construed as grounds for release of detainees covered by this order into the United States.
Obama has not kept track of his XOs. What he decreed in January 2009 was nullified by what he decreed in March 2011, never mind that he’s been flummoxed by the will of the people as expressed through their elected representatives. Legislation trumps XOs unless the Court decrees otherwise. As shown in the Windsor decision, a flaky court is as dangerous as a flaky president. DOMA should not have been struck down. Obamacare, a bankrupting instrument, is the result of a flaky court, with the Chief Justice not knowing the difference between a tax and a penalty.
USNews, 30 November 2012: “‘If the bill [Defense Budget] is presented to the President for approval in its current form, the President's senior advisers would recommend that the President veto the bill,’ the Obama administration said in a statement. The White House also said that President Obama is committed to finding a place on U.S. soil to house the prisoners.”
The president has more than three more years to devise more executive orders. In April amidst a massive hunger-strike at Gitmo, he reiterated his determination that Gitmo simply had to go. Doctors had been called in to deal with the inmates who had had enough and meant to starve their way out, though some are actually men without countries. It might or might not make sense to close the prison but the president admitted in April that he couldn’t close the place without the help of Congress.
In other words, executive orders can be dispensed with if necessary. That was an important lesson for the president, whose regulators are now trying to terminate coal-mining. Congress might have other ideas, especially since the manmade-global-warming hoax is indisputably well documented now, the latest evidence being in the record volume of Antarctica sea-ice and the fact that current Arctic sea-ice volume is well above that of last year at this time.
An imperial presidency (another monarchy) was what the founders attempted to make impossible. Obama is obviously unhappy with that and has expressed his dissatisfaction with the U.S. Constitution. His XOs are his shenanigan of choice. Stay tuned.
And so it goes.