In the course of discussing the Hobby Lobby decision handed down by the Supreme Court, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters in a peculiar way that the President disagrees with the outcome. In fact, his exact phrasing in regard to businesses having the religious right to deny abortifacient drugs is that “the Constitutional lawyer in the Oval Office disagrees.” With that, we’ve compiled a list of times that the same “Constitutional lawyer in the Oval Office” actually violated the Constitution.
1) During the 2012 election year, the Justice Department mounted an attack on the First Amendment and Freedom of the Press by seizing the records of reporters at Fox News and the AP, and had one correspondent labeled a criminal “co-conspirator ” in an effort to access his personal e-mails. An effort that proved successful.
2) The President launched an assault on the Second Amendment right to bear arms, issuing 23 Executive Orders to further federal gun control efforts. Tucked away in those Executive Orders were amendments to the Affordable Care Act, which would allow doctors and hospitals to ask patients of their gun status at home, and that they can report perceived threats of violence for those seeking medical care.
3) In 2012, the President made three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board while the Senate was not in recess, an act the Supreme Court recently unanimously ruled unconstitutional.
4) The Obama IRS compiled a “be on the lookout” list for organizations applying for tax-exempt status. Those lists included key words and phrases such as “Tea Party,” “Israel,” and “Patriots.” The targeting of political opponents has since been blown open as a full-scale Constitutional free speech scandal, including the Nixonian-level loss of two-years worth of e-mails, and the destruction of multiple hard drives belonging to key figures at the IRS.
5) Multiple revisions in the President’s signature health care reform law are unconstitutional, including delays in employer mandates and out-of-pocket caps, insurance requirements, exemptions for Congressional members and their staff, IRS regulation of the employer mandate penalty, and of course, yesterday’s Hobby Lobby ruling on religious freedom.
6) Bailouts of auto industry giants General Motors and Chrysler violated creditor’s rights and bankruptcy law, as well as the Constitution’s Takings and Due Processes Clauses.
7) President Obama’s trade of five high-ranking Taliban commanders for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was a violation of federal law (at least) when he failed to notify Congress, something a leading policy expert described as a violation of the separation of powers and “a serious challenge to the Constitution.”
8) President Obama released a draft executive order requiring businesses with federal contracts to disclose independent expenditures on federal elections. This action is something Senator Ted Cruz recently decried as “disastrous policy that would unconstitutionally chill free speech.”
9) The administration developed a “kill list” for American citizens by drone if they are suspected of engaging in terrorist activities. The act of droning Americans based on suspicions is a clear violation of due process rights afforded under the 5th Amendment.
10) In an attempt to shield any DOJ officials from wrongdoing in the Fast and Furious gun running case, the President misused executive privilege to keep the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform from accessing 1,300 pages of documents.