Senator Lee to testify at hearing on Obama Administration’s ‘abuse of power’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, Senator Mike Lee, a former Constitutional lawyer and Supreme Court law clerk, will testify at a House Judiciary Committee hearing titled “The Obama Administration’s Abuse of Power.” The hearing will highlight the numerous ways in which the Obama Administration and the Justice Department have overstepped the Constitution’s limitations on Executive power.

The hearing will take place on Wednesday at 10 a.m. EST in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building. Other witnesses on the Republican side include Lee Casey of Baker Hostetler and Lori Windham of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The hearing is expected to cover the following instances in which the Administration has ignored Congress’s constitutional role:

1: Asserting the power to suspend the application of Congressionally-enacted laws

The Executive branch has authority to set law enforcement priorities and to exercise prosecutorial discretion, but the Obama Administration has distorted and stretched these doctrines to unconstitutional ends.  By claiming the power to allow entire laws to go unenforced, the Administration has effectively suspended laws with which he disagrees.  This is most flagrantly exhibited in the Administration’s decision to no longer enforce the Immigration and Nationality Act as to illegal immigrants who came to the United States as minors – effectively imposing the DREAM Act that failed to pass Congress.

2: Evading the Senate’s Advice and Consent power

In January, the Administration decided to evade constitutionally mandated Senate review of its appointments by making “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau even when the Senate, by its own rules, was in session.

The Administration has increasingly relied on its own “czars” and White House personnel to set Administration policy in order to evade the Senate’s advice and consent power.  The Senate confirmation process was designed to keep Executive branch policy Officers accountable before taking office.  When White House personnel — who are not only unconfirmed but who do not answer to Senate-confirmed superiors — set policy, this Constitutional check on the President’s power is evaded.

3: Repeatedly making regulations for which it lacks authority

The Administration has imposed its partisan agenda through myriad regulations that go far beyond the powers granted by Congress.  For example, the Federal Communications Commission issued “net neutrality” regulations despite that Congress had never granted it the authority to regulate the internet.  In fact, the D.C. Circuit had specifically held that the FCC lacked this enforcement authority.

The Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, acting on no legislative authority other than the raw power the Administration gained over GM & Chrysler when it bailed those companies out, abused the bankruptcy code to advance the Administration’s political interests over the rule of law.

4: Flouting Congress’s oversight function

The Administration’s contempt for Congressional oversight has undermined the Constitutional balance that requires the Executive branch to answer to the Legislative branch that authorizes and funds it. Nowhere has the Administration’s contempt been more complete than in its misleading and stonewalling response to Congressional inquiries about the Fast & Furious scandal.  For months, the Department of Justice refused to produce relevant documents, made false written assertions and gave misleading Congressional testimony.  Then it dubiously asserted Executive privilege to avoid transparency. Ultimately, the Attorney General was properly held in contempt of Congress for his refusal to produce relevant, non-privileged documents.

5: Trampling individual rights under the Constitution

The Administration has repeatedly ignored the Constitution’s protections for individual rights, and particularly religious liberty. Recently, it has interpreted Obamacare to require religious organizations to cover contraception in health care plans, even if paying for such coverage violates the religion’s tenets.  A contraceptive mandate raises serious questions under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment.

Submitted by the Office of Sen. Mike Lee.

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  • billbob September 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    sounds like every politician and president we’ve ever had in the past hundred years

  • Karen September 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Another dog and pony show brought to us at taxpayer expense by Mike Lee. All the Tea Party has done is obstruct, obstruct, and obstruct. We need to make Lee a one-term senator.

  • Pheo September 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    What good little stenographers you all are!

  • George Waterman September 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Thank you Senator Mike Lee for holding the Executive Branch accountable for their actions. Thanks to you, with the right technical knowledge and persistence, you can challenge these alleged abusive-of-powers in a civilized and proper manner. Anyone can complain about a bully, but it takes a strong leader to take action and challenge a bully in public view; otherwise the bully will only take more liberties from us. I wish you well.

  • Joe Public September 10, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    I want to see either impeachment or arrested for treason…just dreaming .

  • Ron September 11, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Could Congress maybe focus on working together to solve our fiscal problems instead of wasting time and money on nonsense like this? I thought Mike Lee was all about saving taxpayer money. Ha! He’s all about grandstanding and showboating.

  • Damie September 11, 2012 at 9:03 am

    This paper just approved a comment urging the killing of the president, Moderators, how did that one pass you by?

  • DoubleTap September 11, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Damie, are you hallucinating? Who advocated for the killing of the president? You really need to put that stuff away and get a clear mind. Put down the bong or whatever it is you are using.

  • Fred September 13, 2012 at 5:21 am

    I wish Senator Lee would look into all of the media suppressed news like:

    Obama producing a phoney Birth Certificate. Sheriff Arpilo investigated this and has proof by experts.

    Using someone elses SSA #.

    Selective Service Issue

    All of his SEALED records! And getting away with this. Media coverup again.

    All of the court challenges thrown out or not being heard. Did the left take over the courts also?

    Anyone else would be in prison already. All of our Congressmen and Senators will not touch this issue. We are no longer a nation of fair and equal laws.

  • Bill September 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    It’s a waster of time and money to try to hold the President/Dictator to his constitutional powers? Its about time someone in Congress made some attempt at reining in a out-of-control administration.

  • ken September 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    @ Fred and Bill you two are quite amusing. Your in depth knowledge should make America feel better. I love how the boo birds are all out against Obama yet praised GWB when he was way out of control. Lee is NOTHING but grandstanding because he lacks intergity!

  • john January 31, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    look at orly taitz id fruad case so all bills signed void. us supreme court case on 1/15/13 impeach and his actions will not be void.

  • Fred January 31, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Go to Orly Taitz site. She is a lawyer who has brought many cases to the courts system only to have them thrown out or not heard. We have no more legal representation by the courts.

    Look at her site and make your own decisions:

    She has a case scheduled before the Supreme Court but our “media” has this hushed up as usual. This case deals with Barry using another persons SSA #, forgery on the birth certificate and so much more.

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