Obama the Uber-President?
Last comment by Regional 3 years, 8 months ago.

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“President Obama has created an imperial presidency that would have made Richard Nixon blush.” So says former Obama supporter, George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley.

He also said that “I supported Barack Obama...I thought he was going to be a refreshing change after George Bush” and that “he not only adopted many of President Bush’s policies…he outdid him.”

We all know President Barack Obama has his detractors, and that some of them begin to froth at the mouth when they hear his name mentioned. Turley is not one of those. He is a ‘Liberal’ and self-described left-of-center activist. He actually fought quite hard to help get Obama elected
Now, Turley is the second most commonly quoted constitutional lawyer in these United States. He is the G.W.U. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law, the Director of the Environmental Law Center, and the Executive Director of the Project for Older Prisoners.

His interests are civil liberties, environmental concerns, and prison reform. That says it all. This is no hardline right-wing activist. For decades Turley has been very vocal about all of his interests, and right now is being very vocal about how Obama has violated the constitution. Repeatedly!

Testifying before the United States Congress’ House Rules Committee just days ago, he declared that President Obama has “selectively enforced the law in some instances, ignored the law in other instances, and in a few cases changed the law altogether.”

Most outrageously, Turley declares, is that Obama believes that “the framers of the (U.S.) Constitution got it wrong…in their design of the Constitution and Article One of the Constitution.”

For those who don’t know, Article One begins with, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

Obama, according to Turley (and many other legal scholars) also doesn’t believe in the “Great Compromise” of the Constitution, in which smaller states were given equal representation as larger states in the United States Senate.

Turley, after seeing many of Obama’s decisions, now declares, “The United States is now at a Constitutional tipping-point: the rise of an ‘Uber President’ unchecked by the other two branches (of government.”

He goes on, “(Founding father) James Madison, fashioned a government of three bodies locked in a synchronous orbit by their countervailing powers. The system of separation of powers was not created to protect the authority of each branch for its own sake. Rather, it is the primary protector of individual rights because it prevents the concentration of power in any one branch.”

Turley lists Obama's usurpations of power as being most importantly in the areas of health care through the passage of the Affordable Care Act, through his immigration policies concerning illegal immigrant children, and through the failure to prosecute those guilty of drug crimes where mandatory sentences would be imposed.

There are more instances where Obama has been very inventive in contravening the law, Turley declares. They include his misinterpretation of the Wire Act by which he allowed internet gambling instead of banning it, and the ‘movement’ of $54 million dollars set aside for an ‘illness fund’ which he used to pay for the new federal health care exchange.

According to Turley, Obama has even begun waging a war against growers of legal marijuana, by ordering the federal Bureau of Reclamation to instruct the managers of its irrigation districts to refuse to supply water to irrigate their crops. This is so illegal it defies description.

He continues “There are many people that frankly cannot get themselves to oppose Barack Obama. The make a lot of excuses for him.” About the role of civil libertarians in the Democratic Party, Turley has come to believe “we tend to be the bridesmaids at Democratic weddings…we vote for them and then they abandon us.”

What pushed Turley over the proverbial edge when it came to Obama's actions? Simple: “Obama is now claiming the right to kill any US citizen by writing his name on a list if he is satisfied he is a threat.” He also stated that “Obama has openly embraced these (authoritarian) powers and created formal measures, an actual process, for killing US citizens.”

The bottom line? “President Obama lied to us. There’s no way around that. He promised various things and (then) promptly abandoned those principles.” Turley has come to believe that “the election of Barack Obama may stand as one of the single most devastating events in our history for civil liberties.” I agree!

Latest Activity: Jul 18, 2014 at 2:55 PM

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Charles_and_Angie_Howell commented on Saturday, Jul 19, 2014 at 09:11 AM

Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

I think they got what they deserved. The sad thing is that the rest of us got it, too.

Bryant commented on Saturday, Jul 19, 2014 at 16:23 PM

Regional, as a rule I enjoy your posts. This one does not have the general level of fact except to spout the opinion of someone else. Having not read Mr. Turley's entire comments I'll limit myself to two cites alleging this gross usurpation of Congressional privilage and responsibility.

First the cite "...areas of health care through the passage of the Affordable Care Act," as an example. Like it or not, the ACA was passed by Congress and cannot in any form be presumed to be an example of Executive overreach. Presidential actions after enactment can be debated as overreach, but not the act itself.

Next, to the heinous action of "... waging a war against growers of legal marijuana, by ordering the federal Bureau of Reclamation to instruct the managers of its irrigation districts to refuse to supply water to irrigate their crops. This is so illegal it defies description." What a load of bull! Under Federal law, marijuana is still illegal and any actions taken to curtail its growth and spread by Federal authorities is legal. The Bureau is under no obligation to facilitate the growth of "illegal" substances.

That being said, I support legalized marijuana and think such actions are childish and unnecessary. But I wonder how Mr. Turley balances his concern with the water rights enforcing a Federal stance with his objection to"...the failure to prosecute those guilty of drug crimes where mandatory sentences would be imposed."

Regional commented on Saturday, Jul 19, 2014 at 19:13 PM

Bryant...these violations are NOT on the same level, and thats why theyre dealt with separately...turley explains in precise detail why these actions are violations of our nations laws...if you, or anyone else, wants to know why any one violation is so serious i encourage you to go to his own website...or to his House Rules Committee testimony...or many other websites or articles...he, not me, can afford the space....theres not enough room here to share his blow by blow analyses...gives so many examples of obamas manipulation and circumvention of our laws and of using the legislative and judicial branches to achieve his needs...

Regional commented on Saturday, Jul 19, 2014 at 20:25 PM

You made me think, Bryant, some would say thats a dangerous thing.

So I went to his brief on the Bureau of Reclamation issue. Here is what Turley says is why this latest move is so dangerous.

"The government already coerces states by withholding money unless they follow federal mandates.

If the feds can now withhold water or electricity, too, that stranglehold will tighten.

The government supplies the water that sustains 10 million acres of farmland, and the farms that produce 60% of the nation’s vegetables and 25% of its fruits and nuts.

In Washington, that translates to the water for two-thirds of the state’s irrigated land. Legal hypocrisy!"

As I said in my initial blog, I agree!

Scindapsus commented on Saturday, Jul 19, 2014 at 23:29 PM

"His interests are civil liberties, environmental concerns, and prison reform. That says it all. This is no hardline right-wing activist."

Well, no, that doesn't quite say it all! I might accept your premise that hardline right-wing activists do not care about civil liberties, the environment, or the sad state of American prisons, but you conveniently leave out all the positions that Turley has taken over the years that don't fit into your "OMG even this famous LIBERAL is now anti-Obama!" narrative. For example, he testified in favor of Clinton's impeachment; he has a decidedly conservative interpretation of the Second Amendment; he favors legalizing polygamy.

I had to laugh a couple of times here. First, it's quite bizarre when conservatives share an "I know, right?" moment with liberals who are disillusioned with Obama because he's continued too many of the policies initiated by his conservative predecessor. Second, when's the last time we had a president who did NOT “selectively enforce the law in some instances, ignore the law in other instances, and in a few cases change the law altogether?" The degree to which this is a problem appears to be directly correlated to the whininess of the person who's put out by the affected law or by the president who's in charge.

BTW, Regional cites an editorial by Turley, who in turn cites a USBR memo to support his contention that the government will refuse to supply water to districts in which marijuana is grown, ominously hinting that this could affect the farms that produce 60% of the nation's vegetables and 25% of its fruits and nuts*. Here's what that memo ACTUALLY says the USBR will do if it learns that Reclamation water is being used to grow marijuana:

"Should Reclamation employees become aware that Reclamation facilities or the water they supply are being used to facilitate cultivation of marijuana, they will, through their line management, bring this to the attention of their regional director, who will report such use to the Department of Justice and document the reporting action(s)."

Wow, talk about dropping the hammer! Of course, since the Administration has already indicated that it will not pursue these cases (you'd think Turley would have a problem with the feds not strictly enforcing federal statutes, wouldn't you?), doesn't this sound more like bureaucratic CYA than anything else?

*speaking of nuts, what do you make of someone who seriously believes the feds would do anything to jeopardize, or even appear to jeopardize, this much of the nation's food supply?

Regional commented on Monday, Jul 21, 2014 at 09:25 AM

OK, scindapsus, I will agree that those three 'interests' are not the exclusive purview of any one intellectual group....and I agree that certain American presidents have admittedly exceeded their authority in the past.

However, Turley, who is much more qualified to talk about Constitutional Law than I am, has not had his claims rejected by any other equally highly respected other Constitutional Law scholars that I am aware of...have you??

As to the water issue, I have two things to say: first, to clarify the overall issue, read this recent Seattle Times editorial which stated that "The bureau has never had -- nor should it have -- a stake in what crop is planted. That’s a basic tenet of the 1902 National Reclamation Act, which created the bureau and transformed the arid American west," read the May 4 editorial. "Yet the federal government is now threatening to forget that history, because some regulators are queasy about Washington and Colorado’s experimentation with marijuana legalization."

Secondly, and much more importantly, you are wrong about no action being taken by the irrigation districts: there are irrigation districts have already acted to stop the flow of water to those growing crops which they dont approve of, for instance the Saint Charles-Mesa Water District in the Pueblo, Colorado area...which has issued a moratorium on the provision of water to area marijuana farmers. There are numerous other irrigation districts that have warned their marijuana farming customers thattheir water may be cut off.

Scindapsus commented on Monday, Jul 21, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Awesome qualifier: "any other equally highly respected ... Constitutional Law scholars!" No rejoinders from a tiny, subjectively defined group on recent claims, so those claims must stand? Even so, just last week Laurence Tribe (does he meet your standards?) did manage to make a few remarks on some of Turley's recent talking points...

Re: pot water: you need to update your information:


The district stopped supplying water until the BOR came out with the guidelines to which Turley linked and that I quoted above. Now you can plainly see (section 5.08) that this is no longer the case. CYA all the way.

Regional commented on Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 13:36 PM

yes, it appears they have backed off...quite rightly so....

actually, there is another new twist to the issue of water usage and marijuana farmers....and how the feds may be able to legally impinge/curtail its farming...

when irrigation districts declare it necessary to re-allocate or adjust water distribution, they often treat their 'senior' or oldest/longest customers lease holders first...and supply their 'junior' or newer customers last...I'm just curious??

read this from the Anderson Valley Advertiser,, July 14, 2014: ""On June 30, there was a curtailment notice issued by the State Water Board...has determined that the existing water supply...is insufficient to meet the needs of senior water rights holders.... facing a higher than usual water demand; the manager of the district cites the bounty of marijuana gardens as a factor.

Yes, yes. Marijuana gardens. We see so many pics from rural pot grow busts...The eyes of law enforcement supply pictures..."

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