President Barack Obama has used his executive authority to stop deporting undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the United States as children. The administration has also announced that it will stop requesting mandatory minimum sentences for low-level, non-violent drug offenders.
Obama is now using executive orders and other unilateral exercises of executive power to advance his agenda rather than wait on Republicans in Congress.
The GOP has grown increasingly outraged by the president’s actions. House Republicans last week passed the “Enforce the Law Act,” part of a continuing campaign to label any action by the president as “executive overreach.” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) earlier this year felt the need to “remind” the president that “we do have a Constitution.”
Our Founding Fathers, however, would not be surprised that Obama has engaged in unilateral actions. It would surprise them if he hadn’t.
The founders foresaw the need for a strong president who is capable of unilateral action. Indeed, one danger they sought to avoid was an ineffectual president who is incapable of executing the nation’s laws.