Last night, President Obama announced his planned executive order to provide amnesty to five million illegal aliens. The supposed legal authority for his planned action is referred to as prosecutorial discretion.
Prosecutorial discretion is simply not enforcing certain laws. For example, driving 75 in a 70 mile per hour zone and topping the hill to see a state trooper running radar.
His radar shows that you are 5 miles per hour over the speed limit but he doesn’t bother to even crank his car. He is more concerned with the person coming down the road at 85 or 90 miles per hour causing a true danger to the safety of other drivers.
Obama’s plan goes beyond merely not deporting five million illegal aliens. In his speech he said that he would issue them some type of permit that allows them to stay in the country, immune from any prosecution or deportation action.
That would be like the trooper clocking you at 75, stopping you, and giving you a permit to drive 75 in a 70 anywhere, any time. This is not mere discretion. This is making law with zero legal authority.
This is not the first time he has done this. He has made numerous changes to the Obamacare law with no legislative authority. This just stretches the envelope a little bit farther.
Republicans are making statements and speeches protesting this action. They are saying that Obama is acting like an emperor. They are warning of dire consequences for such action.
The question is not what they are saying, but what are they doing. The reality is that their options are limited for the next few weeks. Harry Reid is still in charge of the Senate and the best that Republicans by themselves can do is block legislation.
Democrats shrewdly scheduled continuing resolutions for spending to expire on December 11 – after elections but before newly elected Senators take office. So Harry Reid will push to get a spending bill passed in the lame-duck session that goes through September of next year.
The new Senate can amend the budget, but Obama can veto any amendment and it takes 67 votes to override. Right now though, with a few Democrats in a bi-partisan fashion during a lame-duck session, the Senate could limit the impact of this unconstitutional plan. They could pass a short term funding extension to keep the government open and allow the new Senators to set the course.
Democrats like to toss around the word “bi-partisan” and claim that Republicans do not want to have reasonable bi-partisan legislation. Some Democrats are not supportive of this unconstitutional action by Obama.
There may be a few Democrats in the Senate who are more concerned with the Constitution than with Obama and Reid. This is a golden opportunity for some courageous Democrats and Independents to stand for the Constitution instead of blindly following Harry Reid and Barack Obama.
Republicans must take a stand now – not next year. If the leadership of the Republicans in the Senate will take a firm and united stand, it may be possible to draw some Democrats to their side. They need to use every tool available to show true resolve. That includes filibuster.
Republicans have a real opportunity to stand for a true bi-partisan solution. True bi-partisanship does not mean capitulation.
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