The White House says no public official is above the rule of law, after Kentucky County Court Clerk Kim Davis was ordered to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest gave reporters who questioned him about President Obama’s reaction to the case:
“I will just say on principle that the success of our democracy depends on the rule of law and there is no public official that is above the rule of law,” Earnest said. “Certainly not the President of the United States. But neither is the Rowan county clerk. That’s a principle that is enshrined in our Constitution and in our democracy.”
Earnest admitted that he did not have a specific reaction about the case from President Obama, and pointed out that the legal case was ongoing.
He neglected to mention Obama’s history of questionable legal decisions, which critics argue are a direct affront to the Constitution. Earlier this year, Sen. Ted Cruz issued a list of 76 “lawless” actions by the administration that the presidential contender argue are abuses of executive power.
The administration has declined to enforce federal laws on marijuana, immigration and deportation, and allowed private payments to terrorist organizations for the release of hostages, citing the president’s authority to make prosecutorial discretions. The administration also declined to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act in court, which was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court.
“Rather than honor his duty, President Obama has openly defied it by repeatedly suspending, delaying, and waiving portions of the laws that he is charged to enforce,” Cruz said after releasing the report. “An imperial presidency threatens the liberty of every citizen. Because when a president can pick and choose which laws to follow and which to ignore, he is no longer a president.”