Yesterday on CNN’s “State of the Union” Senior White House adviser David Plouffe defended President Barack Obama’s decision to halt the deportations of illegal immigrants under 30 years of age.
“This is not a political move,” Plouffe said of Obama’s attempt to court the critical Hispanic vote.
Another of Plouffe’s comments was equally controversial. Plouffe maintained that Obama’s action was “fully within” the President’s authority.
Plouffe’s comments brought to mind a Supreme Court case during the Nixon administration in which the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Nixon could not refuse to disburse aid money Congress had appropriated to the states.
While Obama’s executive action may not be legally the same as Nixon’s lack of action that was struck down, it is very similar in spirit.
As the liberal constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley said, in comments to Politico, “The president is using executive power to do things Congress has refused to do, and that does fit a disturbing pattern of expansion of executive power under President Obama.
In many ways, President Obama has fulfilled the dream of an imperial presidency that Richard Nixon strived for … This is a president who is now functioning as a super legislator. He is effectively negating parts of the criminal code because he disagrees with them. That does go beyond the pale.