Patterico's Pontifications

3/16/2011

The Obama Administration’s Hypocrisy on Enforcement of Judicial Decisions

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:27 am



[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Update: It’s not germane to the post, but on appeal Acorn lost.  You can read the opinion, here.

Just this morning we saw a stay granted in Judge Feldman’s decision invalidating the drilling moratorium.  Let’s not forget that the original decision came down in June, 2010, which meant that the Obama administration should have been reviewing and granting permits in that time.  They didn’t.  Further, they were held in contempt back in February, and were later ordered to get off their keisters and move on the permits.  From an article on when the judge held them in contempt:

The Obama Administration acted in contempt by continuing its deepwater-drilling moratorium after the policy was struck down, a New Orleans judge ruled.

Interior Department regulators acted with “determined disregard” by lifting and reinstituting a series of policy changes that restricted offshore drilling, following the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, U.S. District Judge, Martin Feldman of New Orleans ruled yesterday.

“Each step the government took following the court’s imposition of a preliminary injunction showcases its defiance,” Feldman said in the ruling.

“Such dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the re-imposition of a second blanket and substantively identical moratorium, and in light of the national importance of this case, provide this court with clear and convincing evidence of the government’s contempt,” Feldman said.

Likewise, in the Florida Obamacare case Judge Vinson experienced similar frustration, writing in his recent clarification:

For the defendants to suggest that they were entitled (or that in the weeks after my order was issued they thought they might be entitled) to basically ignore my declaratory judgment until “after appellate review is exhausted” is unsupported in the law.

I should note that I missed this the first time I read the decision, but you might remember that I accused the administration of making a “wholly deceptive” argument when trying to claim that the law doesn’t allow a single District Court Judge to halt enforcement of the law.  Well, in footnote five of the opinion, Judge Vinson writes the following, in discussing the exact same argument:

The defendants’ selective quoting from those cases — to suggest that the federal government may simply ignore a declaratory judgment by a district court until the appeals process has fully run its course — borders on misrepresentation

Which is about as close as Judge Vinson is likely to get to calling the federal lawyers liars.  So apparently Judge Vinson is cribbing off of me, too! (Kidding.)

Also he later said in his opinion:

The plaintiffs have contended that the defendants did not actually need any of the above clarification as they were not really confused by, or unsure of, the effect of my order and judgment. They have suggested that if the defendants had truly believed there was any uncertainty or ambiguity, they would have immediately sought clarification rather than continuing to move forward with implementing the Act as if nothing had happened.

So we are seeing a certain pattern of resistance of judicial decisions.  Oh, but you know how the song goes: one of these is not like the others… Compare and contrast their treatment of the Defund Acorn Act.  As you know Congress passed a law in the wake of the O’Keefe sting videos cutting off all funding to Acorn.  Acorn attacked the law in court, claiming it was an unlawful Bill of Attainder and despite the speciousness of their argument, they won.  So surely Obama dragged his feet in enforcing that decision, right?  Surely the same DOJ that told Judge Vinson that one judge had no right to stop federal enforcement of a law, even with respect to the parties before him, until appellate review was exhausted—going as far as to so twist the case law that it “border[ed] on misrepresentation”—surely they were not going to roll over and enforce this ridiculous ruling in favor of Acorn, right?  Right?

You know that’s a rhetorical question, right?

President Obama has quietly moved behind the scenes to restore full funding to the radical group ACORN, which was his former employer and legal client.

In a move ignored by the media, OMB director Peter Orszag circulated a directive to federal agencies ordering them to begin funding ACORN again. ACORN is the hyperpartisan lead group in the Health Care for America Now (HCAN) coalition and has long supported a government takeover of the U.S. health care system.

The fiscal floodgates will soon re-open for ACORN despite a congressional ban on funding the activist group that has long been a practitioner of election fraud.

In a March 16 memo Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Peter Orszag ordered federal agencies to resume funding the group whose employees were caught on hidden camera videos last year condoning and encouraging a variety of crimes including child prostitution and tax evasion.

The memo came a week after renegade federal judge Nina Gershon of the Eastern District of New York made permanent her temporary injunction prohibiting Congress from cutting off funding for ACORN. The memo also came despite the fact that the Department of Justice is planning to appeal Gershon’s ruling and seek a stay pending appeal.

(Source.)  Now as indicated by the Orszag memo itself, when the stay was granted they stopped the flow of money.  But what we didn’t see, and we did see with the drilling moratorium and the Florida Obamacare ruling, was the federal agencies acting in contempt of that rulings, of refusing to enforce a judge’s ruling even before a stay was granted.  Seriously, read the memo itself and the difference is like day and night.

And that contrast in behavior is indefensible.  If they were always resistant, then you could maybe tease out some sort of principle behind all of this—that perhaps they truly feel that one judge should not be able to gum up the entire legal works.  That wouldn’t be what the law said, but I could see that as a defensible principle and at one time the law didn’t allow one judge to gum up the works.  But their inconsistent behavior makes it clear what is happening.  They are dragging their feet, but only where they don’t like the law.  And that is wrong.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

68 Responses to “The Obama Administration’s Hypocrisy on Enforcement of Judicial Decisions”

  1. Greetings:

    And so, once again I ask, “When does such behavior rise to the level of a ‘High crime or misdemeanor?'”

    11B40 (9422a5)

  2. Amazing! A federal judge orders Congress to appropriate money? Where do the courts arrive at the authority to order Congress to authorize spending? Her logic would lead to once funded, forever funded. She should be impeached and removed from office. Even democrats can see where her logic ends at and a future democrat congress might be restrained as well by that decision as a precedent for things they don’t like. I can see a judge ordering the executive branch to uphold or not uphold a statute pending appellate review but ordering spending? The house should simply not fund Acorn, period end of story. What is she going to do? Have the US Marshals arrest the members of congress for contempt?

    On the other hand where the courts have made a ruling on statutes, Judges Vinson and Feldman should jail the respective agency heads for contempt of court. Although I wonder if the Marshals would actually arrest them or if the secret service or DoJ agents block the physical enforcement of that order.

    cubanbob (409ac2)

  3. 11B40,

    I am surprised that isn’t mentioned more. Obama is lawless, but he seems to know that no one will dare call his bluff. After all, impeachment blew up in the GOP’s face in 1998 because they lacked follow-through. This is quite worse than Clinton’s perjury was.

    I guess there’s an element of ‘you will be branded a racist and attacked viciously’ that has soaked into every element of White House interactions. They are lawless, and no one will bring down much oversight.

    The ACORN funding issue isn’t as serious as the oil drilling, but it is particularly aggravating. Even if we had 70 US Senators, I doubt we’d stand up to Obama. What’s pathetic is that I don’t think Obama would win any game of chicken. We’re choosing to face his MSM and zealous administration instead of putting the pressure directly on the admin’s weakest point.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  4. Where are the subpoenas from Issa.

    Can you imagine the joy and celebration if this filth is ever swept from office?

    Vermont Neighbor (ac417f)

  5. BTW, what an awesome blog post this was.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  6. cuban

    > if the secret service or DoJ agents block the physical enforcement of that order.

    hey, i think there were some people in the 50’s and 60’s who had a few techniques they could borrow. Like Faubus and Wallace. Holder should know about it, since “his people” were on the other side.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  7. Of course this is ok.

    Just like how it is alright for Omasturbation to go golfing but not Bush.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  8. Dustin @ 5

    thanks.

    doh[biden]

    oh thanks for that mental image.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  9. They are dragging their feet, but only where they don’t like the law. And that is wrong.

    The Bush Administration did the same thing. And don’t even get me started on 4th Amendment violations.

    The lesson here? Elections have consequences.

    Kman (5576bf)

  10. The lesson here? Elections have consequences.

    Did you read the post? Particularly the part where the winners of an election defunded ACORN, and that electoral consequence was cancelled by a lawless administration?

    I don’t think you can actually produce a parallel to Bush. Nice try to deflect, but it’s predictable that every single accurate criticism of Obama leads to a vague ‘everyone does it’ dismissal.

    I question your patriotism.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  11. Hey, don’t Kman started on fabricating things again.

    You’ll regret it.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  12. Besides, he is just stalking you know who. Again.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  13. Yeah, my mistake, SPQR. I’m sure Kman can fabricate any Bush paranoia story imaginable.

    After following at least 100 Kman links and never finding one that said what Kman claimed it did, I tend to avoid his .pdf downloads offered with only a vague and broad summary, and always completely unrelated to the story Aaron posted.

    I’m sure it’s Kman’s pathetic and jealous way of screwing up Aaron’s thread. Hard to believe they actually started at the same blog. Now, Aaron’s post deserves an instalanche, and Kman’s admittedly embarrassed by his own blog.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  14. Did you read the post? Particularly the part where the winners of an election defunded ACORN, and that electoral consequence was cancelled by a lawless administration?

    Did YOU read the post? The defunding of ACORN was unlawful. So said a court, not the Obama Administration.

    Thanks for playing, Dustin. We have some lovely parting gifts…..

    Kman (5576bf)

  15. Dustin:

    and always completely unrelated to the story Aaron posted.

    That’s because you’re apparently too dim-witted to see the connection.

    The case I linked to was the U.S. Supreme Court telling the Bush Administration that it can’t just decide not to enforce the Clean Air Act.

    Kman (5576bf)

  16. Kman

    > The Bush Administration did the same thing.

    As usual your citation doesn’t support your claims. All it says is that the EPA interpreted the law incorrectly, reversing the circuit court and district court decisions siding with the EPA. So the Bush administration didn’t defy any decision. They simply failed to anticipate what the S.C. would do.

    But i love it. you have claimed that the constitution is whatever the courts say it is. But apparently you have no problem with the president disobeying what those courts say–although by your logic, that is a violation of the constitution.

    Your dishonesty and stupidity is showing as usual.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  17. Yes a decision, based on discredited findings from the CRU at East Anglia

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  18. Kman

    > Did YOU read the post? The defunding of ACORN was unlawful. So said a court, not the Obama Administration.

    And a court said Obamacare was unlawful, and so was the drilling moratorium, proving you either didn’t read the post or didn’t comprehend it on any level. i mean that was the whole point of the post:

    judicial opinion they don’t like ====> drag their heels, pretend it didn’t happen, lie to the court.

    judicial opinion they like =====> we must enforce this like… yesterday!

    And no it is not unlawful to defund acorn. the government has a right to boycott people and entities.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  19. Thanks for playing, Dustin. We have some lovely parting gifts…..

    Comment by Kman

    Yeah, not surprised at all at the sneering, but yes, I read the post. I don’t think you did, and I don’t think you read the link you posted. It doesn’t make any sense that you would think your link proves Bush was using court decisions to flout the law while also ignoring court decisions they didn’t agree with.

    It reeks of a desperate diversion, or an attempt to screw up the threads… something I probably should regret even responding to. Now you want a discussion of global warming and Bush? What a jealous stalker you are.

    The issue here is not whether Bush or Obama’s claims in court worked out, idiot.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  20. I see Aaron beat me to it.

    But anyway, folks: no need to click Kman’s link, unless you want to discuss Bush and global warming. He has announced his victory in our argument. I wonder at what point he resigned to start awarding himself instead of hoping someone would actually find him persuasive.

    I take it you’re not a trial lawyer, then, Kman. You want to let the jury connect the dots if you have a great case. You want to complexify and divert and dissemble if you have a losing argument.

    Oh wait. Maybe you are a trial lawyer.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  21. Kman doesn’t even get a copy of the home game, like Weird Al in that Jeopardy parody. I’m distressed however, how the 5th circuit ignored the falsified
    data, that was presented for the first moratorium

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  22. There is NO hypocrisy here, move along.

    The Obama Administration is being consistent – they obey and support decisions which provide them with the end result they want and they resist and ignore decisions that don’t give them the result they want.

    steve (369bc6)

  23. Actually, folks, it is interesting to note how often Kman posts in responses to Aaron’s blog entries…and how seldom he does when Aaron is not the author of a blog entry.

    Creepy.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  24. So the Bush administration didn’t defy any decision. They simply failed to anticipate what the S.C. would do.

    Hahaha. I see.

    So when it’s Bush, it’s a government agency failing to correctly guess what a higher court would do.

    But when it’s Obama, it’s a government agency defying a (lower) court.

    Thanks for that distinction.

    you have claimed that the constitution is whatever the courts say it is. But apparently you have no problem with the president disobeying what those courts say–although by your logic, that is a violation of the constitution.

    The disagreement between the Obama administration and the court was the remedy (and more specifically, the remedy in light of the inevitable appeal), not “what the constitution says”.

    And the court clarified it.

    And no it is not unlawful to defund acorn. the government has a right to boycott people and entities.

    *Geez* Hey, the government doesn’t have rights, pinhead. It has powers… and limited powers at that. If you’re going to discuss the law, at least use the right words.

    That said, the lower court did indeed hold that the decision to defund ACORN was unconstitutional. That was the holding. And so the Obama administration did what it legally could do, which was reinstitute funding.

    Kman (5576bf)

  25. Simon, you’re right. It’s really creepy. 9 years, too. I hate to even mention it, but this helps me understand why a lot of people will step aside and be quiet when they realize they are threatening an internet kook. For example, that anonymous guy Patterico asked to talk about Jeff G. He doesn’t need 9 years of what Aaron’s had to deal with any more than Aaron did.

    What’s really funny is how Kman violates his own claimed principles about welcoming dissent. He hides his blog from any conservative dissent while calling this one an echo chamber despite its tolerance for his trolling.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  26. Kmart talking about government having limited powers is simply too funny. Did your head assplode?

    JD (342e82)

  27. Hahaha. I see.

    So when it’s Bush, it’s a government agency failing to correctly guess what a higher court would do.

    But when it’s Obama, it’s a government agency defying a (lower) court.

    This is pathetic. You’re not even trying.

    Bush acted in good faith, and pursued his claims in the legal system. He lost a case. So what? This is an irrelevant diversion from the contradiction Obama has been exposed with, and you’re only gradually figuring out what the post is about as your reactions are met with laughter.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  28. Obama did defy the judicial branch. There’s no way around that. Keeping the oil moratorium was contempt.

    Bush did nothing like that when he appealed a case.

    If merely appealing a case is enough to earn Kman’s criticism, then why is he not condemning Obama’s far, far more aggressive and illegal behavior to a decision it doesn’t like?

    Bush Bush Bush!!!! Obviously, Kman just wants to stir up the hornet’s nest. Tell me, Kman, do you know the URL for any blogs where the shows various peculiar obsessive attempts to grab attention such as parading in women’s clothing or gadflying strangers in public? Just asking. I heard there are blogs like that, but I’m not sure what the URLs are.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  29. Bush acted in good faith, and pursued his claims in the legal system. He lost a case. So what?

    Well, actually, when it came to warrentless searches, he often avoided going to court — i.e., the FISA court specifically set up for such a purpose.

    That said, even after Bush went to court, he still ignored the court, even after he lost.

    Kman (5576bf)

  30. BUSHITLER BUNNIES !!!!!!!!!! ZOMFG RACISTS

    JD (342e82)

  31. Kmart is just doing the standard BUSH BUNNIES BS that he and his ilk routinely engage in. It is pathetic. you are not even trying today, kmart.

    JD (342e82)

  32. “Wrong” is so judgmental, maaaaan…

    Bigfoot (8096f2)

  33. And that contrast in behavior is indefensible.

    Actually it’s quite defensible. The executive branch is entitled to its own view of the constitution. Suppose that the administration honestly believed (yeah, me too, but close your eyes tight and suppose really really hard) that Obamacare is constitutional despite Judge Vinson’s opinion to the contrary, and that the drilling ban has rational reasons that Judge Feldman inexplicably didn’t understand, but that the ACORN defunding law is indeed unconstitutional, as Judge Gershom so perceptively discerned. Give that woman a Supreme Court nomination! Under the principle expressed, e.g., by President Jefferson, the administration would be quite right to enforce the laws it believes constitutional and not enforce the ones it doesn’t. And also to scrupulously obey the judicial orders it agrees with, and seek ways to avoid the ones it doesn’t.

    Of course, to take advantage of this argument the President would have to openly accept the principle that the separate branches of government are each entitled to their own views of the constitution, and reject the doctrine that the judicial branch rules over the other two and is the true government of the USA. If he’s prepared to do that, I would welcome it and give him whatever slack he wants for the next two years, making sure everyone realises that he’s just undercut any Democrat opposition to the next Republican president taking the same stance. But unfortunately he’s too smart to go there.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  34. Attention

    It has been noted that some infrequent commentors have spoken up about the havoc that Kman and others often do to a thread. I motion that any and all further interaction with the commenter-that-must-not-be-named (“ctmnbn”) be self identified to facilitate a coherent thread. Perhaps a heading such as “Notice, Another anti-Kman rant, skip if not interested” could be used. Now, if one wishes to give a summary statement on a topic that would silence an honest critic, no such heading needed.

    Otherwise, the ctmnbn should be ignored; form a 12-step group if you need to. This way we can have our troll wars and coherent threads too.

    Do I hear a second on the motion?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  35. form a 12-step group if you need to.

    Step 1: My name is Dustin and I compulsively respond to trolls a lot.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  36. Good points, Milhouse.

    Of course, to take advantage of this argument the President would have to openly accept the principle that the separate branches of government are each entitled to their own views of the constitution, and reject the doctrine that the judicial branch rules over the other two and is the true government of the USA.

    Well, the other branches are entitled to their own views while the controversy is being litigated up and down the courts. That’s nothing new.

    So I don’t have a problem when an administration “scrupulously obeys the judicial orders it agrees with, and seek ways to avoid the ones it doesn’t”… except where the controversy has reached judicial finality.

    Kman (5576bf)

  37. Amazing! A federal judge orders Congress to appropriate money? Where do the courts arrive at the authority to order Congress to authorize spending?

    There is that, of course. The President simply has no power to spend money not appropriated by Congress, and no order from a judge can give him that power. Even if Congress were completely wrong and in flagrant violation of the constitution in not appropriating the money, the fact remains that it hasn’t, and until it does so the President simply may not spend it. That principle was firmly established by the English Civil War.

    For complete disclosure, I believe President Ford should have ignored Congress and provided South Vietnam with arms and air support despite Congress refusing to appropriate money for it. The USA had a solemn treaty obligation to do so, and everyone knew that without that support our ally would fall, and its millions of citizens would be killed or enslaved by the North. In that case Ford should have done the right thing, and then waited for Congress to impeach him for it, meanwhile making his case to the public and rallying their support against impeachment. No such considerations are involved here, of course.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  38. we love you Dustin

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  39. MD, that was funny. Dustin, welcome to our group. There should be coffee and donuts at the back of the meeting room.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  40. Milhouse-

    But if the executive branch did that, what would be the equivalent for Congress staking out its own claim to independence?

    And if the executive branch did that, wouldn’t it institutionalize a “government by men, not laws”, and there would be huge inconsistencies in all kinds of things literally overnight when a new administration takes office, at least until someone finds a way to guarantee making a “successor to the oval throne room” someone of their own choosing.

    It does come back to the reality that everything, EVERYTHING, is dependent upon individual people willing to stand up and be people of integrity who do the right thing. Even a nation of laws cannot be a nation of laws if no one will enforce them.

    So, yes, what is to be done, hope to get a Senate Repub majority to ago along with a House Repub majority and impeach if he gets term 2??

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  41. That case ignored precedents like this, In re Sealed Case, which Hugh Hewitt, I recall, mentioned incessantly; much like the Supremes ignored the reigning precedents in Hamdi through Boumedienne

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  42. In that case Ford should have done the right thing, and then waited for Congress to impeach him for it, meanwhile making his case to the public and rallying their support against impeachment. No such considerations are involved here, of course.
    Comment by Milhouse

    In one way that certainly is a way for even the president to use “civil disobedience”. Of course, the president himself can’t load a plane with supplies. I can imagine groups of contractors pro-exec and pro-congress fighting picket lines loading transport planes. That could get real ugly.

    38.MD, that was funny
    Comment by Simon Jester

    Thank you, but intended to be only 1/2 funny.
    Seriously, Dustin, the motion on the table screen, if seconded and passed, allows you to respond to trolls all you want if you give a warning disclaimer so a person could go thjrough a thread skipping the troll wars comments. I think the troll wars should be in a different color to easily distinguish as a compromise to the ignore/fight question, but not my site.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  43. By the way, it appears that the <small> tag is stripped out of comments. It works in the preview, but when the comment is published the tag is gone.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  44. Let’s see:
    – Unitary Executive
    – Drone-killing terrorists in Waziristan
    – Plays golf every weekend
    – Refusal to enforce laws they don’t like
    – Refusal to obey court orders they don’t like

    Hope and Change!

    carlitos (01d172)

  45. Nero didn’t fiddle as much as this President does.

    Rochf (f3fbb0)

  46. Carlitos, Bush hardly ever played golf during his administration. Obama has probably already played twice as many games as Bush did in 8 years.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  47. Fair point about the golf. I was attempting to lampoon the liberal stereotype of Bush, more than the actual administration. Weekly golf actually gives me an impression that the guy has his act together, much like Bush’s daily workouts. You gotta tune out sometimes or you won’t be as effective when you are working.

    carlitos (01d172)

  48. Milhouse is right. Bush stopped playing golf very early on. But Carlitos’s joke is still pretty funny. That caricature of Bush is what Obama ran against, and it’s ironic when he’s picking his NCAA teams or golfing.

    MD, I think your idea is a great one.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  49. this is very America I enjoyed very much to read

    You also may enjoy very much to read. Here is a “snippet:”

    What I didn’t understand when writing my candid opinion about the movie and its marketing strategy was that Summit thought that by inviting me to their party they were basically buying a puff piece. The thought never crossed my mind, mainly because I cover startups, and startups, unlike Hollywood stars, want to talk to the press.

    […]

    The issue is simply that Summit thinks it can pressure us, through an AOL sister site, into making a balanced report more glowing. And while it’s inappropriate, it’s not surprising. What is surprising, and sad, is that Moviefone/AOL actually tried to comply with their request and asked us to change our post. It’s not just sad, it’s wrong.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  50. All that “fierce moral urgency for change” horse manure of the Obama cult? **poof**

    SPQR (26be8b)

  51. But if the executive branch did that, what would be the equivalent for Congress staking out its own claim to independence?

    By passing laws that it believes to be constitutional, even if it knows the judiciary holds otherwise. Or, as in this case, by refusing to appropriate money for purposes that the judiciary believes (for whatever reason) the USA is constitutionally required to fund.

    And if the executive branch did that, wouldn’t it institutionalize a “government by men, not laws

    On the contrary; if a president is confronted with the choice between obeying the law and obeying a court, which choice is consistent with the rule of law, and which with the rule of men? The president reads the constitution and finds, for instance, no authority for banning the possession of marijuana which was grown in the same state for medical purposes, and which was never offered for sale on the national market. The Supreme Court says the law is valid, and the administration must therefore enforce it. What should he do? Or, just to reach for a random instance, suppose he reads the law establishing the EPA, and finds that it may only regulate pollutants, which as he reads it does not cover CO2; the Supreme Court says the EPA (acting in his name) must issue regulations, while he believes he has no power to do so. What should he do? Would not putting the orders of the Court above what he believes the law says, be precisely that “government by men” which you complain of?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  52. And, once again, HTML that works in the preview is stripped out of the comments. Add <sub> to the list of tags that can’t be used, even though the preview renders them correctly.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  53. Jesus, Kman, you’re an incompetent in your own profession.

    > So when it’s Bush, it’s a government agency failing to correctly guess what a higher court would do.
    > But when it’s Obama, it’s a government agency defying a (lower) court.
    > Thanks for that distinction.

    Okay, ask yourself a simple question. What decision did the Bush administration defy? They won in the D.C. Circuit Court. They won in the D.C. District Court. The only time they lost was in the supreme court, and there is nothing in that student note you cited that suggested they defied the supreme court.

    GET IT? And I don’t fault Obama’s people for appealing the decision or seeking a stay. I don’t fault them for believing the law is something different than what they said it is. I fault them for defying the decision when they have no stay.

    To compare, you are angry at Bush’s people for having an interpretation of the law you disagree with, winning at each appellate level, and then losing at the supreme court. Nowhere in that process does bush refuse to enforce judicial decisions, as the post—indeed the title of the post—discusses.

    The best you come up with, post hoc, is a WAPO article that complains that Bush took more than a year to come up with the regulation afterward. But bluntly they were asking to put out brand new regulations for the first time, and anyone who has observed the progress of regulatory agencies knows that one year isn’t very long for such far-reaching regulation.

    And even if you establish that bush defied a court order, so what? Does that suddenly make it okay for Obama to have done so?

    > The disagreement between the Obama administration and the court was the remedy (and more specifically, the remedy in light of the inevitable appeal), not “what the constitution says”.

    In which case? do you even know I am mentioning two other cases where Obama dragged his feet?

    > That said, the lower court did indeed hold that the decision to defund ACORN was unconstitutional. That was the holding. And so the Obama administration did what it legally could do, which was reinstitute funding.

    And meanwhile did what it legally couldn’t do in the moratorium case and the obamacare case, which was continue on like the court said nothing.

    Milhouse

    > The executive branch is entitled to its own view of the constitution. Suppose that the administration honestly believed (yeah, me too, but close your eyes tight and suppose really really hard) that Obamacare is constitutional despite Judge Vinson’s opinion to the contrary

    A disagreement over constitutionality doesn’t entitle the president to go ahead and do it anyway. At best, it allows the president to refuse to go along with an order to do a thing, not an order to refrain from doing a thing.

    Dustin

    > What’s really funny is how Kman violates his own claimed principles about welcoming dissent. He hides his blog from any conservative dissent while calling this one an echo chamber despite its tolerance for his trolling.

    Well, that and his ad hom attack on you which I removed.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  54. Dustin

    > Milhouse is right. Bush stopped playing golf very early on. But Carlitos’s joke is still pretty funny. That caricature of Bush is what Obama ran against, and it’s ironic when he’s picking his NCAA teams or golfing.

    i know a lot of conservatives are picking on obama for not attending to world matters, but i have to respectfully disagree. We are much, much better off without Obama’s version of “help.”

    Yes, a wise president could actively help with the situation in libya, japan, the U.S. economy, etc., and would probably be too busy to predict the final four. But that ain’t obama, and we are much better off saying to him, “go play with your tinker toys until 2012, please.”

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  55. Nero didn’t fiddle as much as this President does.

    Nero didn’t fiddle at all. The fiddle wasn’t invented until probably the 8th century.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  56. A disagreement over constitutionality doesn’t entitle the president to go ahead and do it anyway. At best, it allows the president to refuse to go along with an order to do a thing, not an order to refrain from doing a thing.

    Where does the judiciary get off ordering the executive, its equal, not to do things that it, the executive, believes the law requires it (or even merely allows it) to do? Under the view that all three branches are equal, no branch gets to order the others around, except in ways specifically authorised by the constitution (e.g. habeas corpus).

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  57. milhouse

    so the S.C. tells the president that a prisoner must be freed, and the president can continue to hold him?

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  58. Ex parte Milligan would suggest so, then again Boumedienne kind of evaded that whole series of cases

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  59. btw updated with a link to the opinion the lower court decision in the acorn case.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  60. Kman is an obot.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  61. So the Executive Branch can just ignore a court order? Doesn’t that set them above the other branches? What about the checks and balances that the Founders designed? I guess the DOJ can just feign stupidity or failure to understand the ruling while disobeying the court.

    Rochf (f3fbb0)

  62. so the S.C. tells the president that a prisoner must be freed, and the president can continue to hold him?

    Did you not read what I wrote: “except in ways specifically authorised by the constitution (e.g. habeas corpus)”? But for instance prisoners of war are not entitled to habeas (cf the case of the Three Spanish Sailors, and Schiever’s case), so it’s indeed none of any court’s business how long the executive holds them.

    So the Executive Branch can just ignore a court order? Doesn’t that set them above the other branches?

    Um, excuse me? Read your own words and tell me how they make sense. Letting one branch order another one around is precisely “setting them above the other branches”. Not letting them do so is making them equal to the other branches. Tell me, does Congress also have to obey court orders? Do the courts have to obey Executive and Congressional orders? Of course not. So why do you think the Executive has to obey the orders of the Judiciary? Doesn’t that set one branch above another?

    What about the checks and balances that the Founders designed?

    What about them? Where did they say that the courts are superior to the executive? Where did they say that anyone must set aside the constitution and the law in order to obey a court?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  63. milhouse

    fair enough, i missed that part.

    So… let’s assume your habeas loophole is valid. if Obama takes your house and the courts tell him that is illegal, he doesn’t have to give you your house back?

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  64. The Obama administration’s hypocrisy on everything is par for the course.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  65. A.W. – Isn’t what the DOJ did in the New Black Panther voter intimidation case another example of what you are talking about. The DOJ people prosecuting the case essentially obtained a default judgment by virtue of the defendants’ failure to show up or mount a defense. When the case moved to the penalty phase, the usual suspects decided they did not want the result.

    daleyrocks (ae76ce)

  66. if Obama takes your house and the courts tell him that is illegal, he doesn’t have to give you your house back?

    Whether he has to give my house back doesn’t depend on what the courts say, it depends on what the law says.

    Since nobody can make him give it back if he doesn’t want to (short of Congress impeaching him), any discussion of what he ought to do must assume that he’s acting in good faith; if he isn’t then saying he must obey the court is no more useful than saying he must obey the law. He’ll do neither one unless it’s in his interest. So for this discussion to be at all relevant we must assume a president who is acting in good faith.

    And if he believes in good faith that the law authorised his taking the house, then why should he give it back? What makes the court’s view of the law better than his own view? And who says the court is acting in good faith? If presidents can act in bad faith, then so can judges.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  67. Patrick/Aaron Is there a particular reason why Kman has not been shown the door for 9 years?

    Rorschach (c5574d)

  68. Ror,

    Pat believes in all view points, trolls, etc

    even me, I’m still here..

    EricPWJohnson (b12494)


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