By Paul Sperry
President Obama likes to claim he’s been forced into rogue executive actions, laying the blame on an intransigent Congress. In fact, his lawlessness is coldly calculated, dating back to his days as a Chicago community organizer.
Consider what he wrote on page 276 of his 1995 memoir, “Dreams from My Father,” reflecting on his decision to study law: “I had things to learn in law school, things that would help me bring about real change. I would learn power’s currency in all its intricacy and detail, knowledge that I could now bring back to where it was needed…bring it back like Promethean fire.”
Obama fancies himself a modern-day Prometheus stealing laws from the oppressive Founding Fathers for the benefit of the oppressed.
“I just took an action to change the law!” he reminded Hispanic activists in Chicago last week, referring to his executive amnesty.
Learning to run around American law was his main purpose in attending Harvard Law School, where he quickly sidled up to Professor Derrick Bell, who bashed the Constitution as a form of “original sin.”
There was no reverence in studying the founding documents and the system they created, no desire to work within America’s legal framework and enforce existing law.
No, Obama didn’t study federal statutes to defend them. He studied them to game them, sabotage them. To abdicate them.
Exhibit A is his illegal mass amnesty for illegals.
According to a new report by the Congressional Research Service, the Hill’s nonpartisan think tank, the president’s authority to grant amnesty is limited to illegal aliens facing emergency situations — such as wars or earthquakes, floods and droughts — that prevent their safe deportation.
The almost 5 million illegals getting a pass from Obama face no such hazards.
By giving them work permits, Obama’s also violating the Immigration and Nationality Act’s intent of protecting domestic labor.
“Congress is unlikely to have defined ‘unauthorized alien’ and prohibited the knowing hiring or employment of such aliens if it contemplated the executive branch granting work authorization” to millions of illegals, wrote CRS legislative attorneys Kate M. Manuel and Michael John Garcia.
What’s more, the Supreme Court in its 1985 “Heckler v. Cheney” decision struck down presidential policies that abdicate statutory duties.
“The Heckler Court expressly recognized the possibility of an executive agency ‘consciously and expressly adopt(ing) a general policy (of not enforcing the law) that is so extreme as to amount to an abdication of its statutory responsibilities,’” they added.
There is little doubt that ordering Homeland Security not to remove half the illegal population is an “extreme” policy. The president has “consciously” decided to abdicate the statutory duties Congress assigned him in the Immigration and Nationality Act, which expressly mandates illegal aliens “shall be detained for removal proceedings.”
On School Discipline
But Obama’s not just flouting immigration statutes. He’s also reinterpreting the nation’s civil-rights laws.
For starters, Obama has directed his education secretary and attorney general to pressure public school districts to limit the number of minority students they suspend.
To comply with the policy, Minneapolis Public Schools and other districts have adopted de facto racial quotas in discipline.
“MPS must aggressively reduce the disproportionality between black and brown students and their white peers every year for the next four years,” the Minneapolis school superintendent explains. “This will begin with a 25 percent reduction in disproportionality by the end of this school year; 50 percent by 2016; 75 percent by 2017; and 100 percent by 2018.”
By referring lower and lower shares of black kids for discipline until they equal white levels, MPS is favoring one race over another in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.
“The new discipline policy is legally and constitutionally suspect,” US Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow asserted.
A federal appeals court in its 1997 People Who Care v. Rockford Board of Education decision declared unconstitutional a Rockford, Ill., policy that forbade school officials referring “a higher percentage of minority students than of white students for discipline.”
Former Education Department lawyer Hans Bader notes the court ruling also “explicitly rejected the argument that such a rule is permissible to prevent ‘disparate impact,’” a dubious civil rights theory not found in the text of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
“This provision cannot stand,” the Chicago-based 7th Circuit unanimously ruled. “Racial disciplinary quotas violate equity in its root sense. They entail either systematically over-punishing the innocent or under-punishing the guilty. They place race at war with justice.”
“In the event of litigation,” Kirsanow said, “I expect that the 8th Circuit (which includes Minnesota) will find its sister circuit’s reasoning persuasive.”
Also, Obama is illegally rewriting both the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act in order to pressure lenders and insurers into setting quotas for minority homebuyers.
Last month, a federal judge stepped in on behalf of insurers. US District Judge Richard Leon struck down HUD’s 2013 rule using disparate impact to enforce the FHA against insurers. He said the administration had a lot of “chutzpah” reading disparate impact into the statute.
“This is yet another example of an administrative agency trying desperately to write into law that which Congress never intended to sanction,” he wrote in his opinion.
Leon ruled the FHA unambiguously prohibits only policies and practices that intentionally discriminate, not ones based on risk analysis and other legitimate business needs of the home insurance industry.
For the administration to claim otherwise is “wishful thinking on steroids,” the judge scolded.
Removing important risk factors from insurance rating plans just because they may have an adverse effect on favored groups would destroy accurate risk assessment and unfairly raise premiums for other policyholders, he said.
But that’s exactly what Obama seeks.
In the name of “racial equity,” he’s trying to eliminate risk-based pricing not only for home insurance policies but also home loans.
HUD has teamed up with the Justice Department and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to sue mortgage lenders for more than $1 trillion in disparate impact claims, arguing they charged minority borrowers a “racial surcharge.”
The Court is poised to stop this illegal witch hunt, after agreeing to hear a case against disparate impact brought by the state of Texas — Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. It’s widely expected to reach the same conclusion as the DC court.
“Fortunately for us all,” Leon concluded, “the Supreme Court is now perfectly positioned to finally address this issue in the not-too-distant future.”
Meanwhile, EEOC Chairwoman Jacqueline Berrien, a former NAACP activist, is unlawfully expanding enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to pressure employers to hire minorities with criminal records.
For example, she recently sued Freeman Companies and Kaplan Higher Education Corp. for allegedly running discriminatory background checks on job applicants.
The charges were so egregiously groundless that both judges hearing the cases scolded her department for ever bringing them, before summarily tossing them out.
One judge slammed her prosecutors for using “cherry-picked” data and hiring expert witnesses who engaged in “scientific dishonesty.” In court documents, he also said they attempted to “pump up” statistics to make it look like employers were biased.
Both cases charged employers were racist simply for conducting criminal background checks and credit checks for all their job applicants, whites and blacks equally.
Even though, as the court pointed out, that’s exactly what Berrien and every other Cabinet official does before they hire their own workers for government jobs.
Nine state attorneys general recently complained the administration was “compel[ling] employers to hire convicted criminals.”
“We are troubled that your agency’s true purpose may not be the correct enforcement of the law, but rather the illegitimate expansion of Title VII protection to former criminals,” they wrote in a recent letter to Berrien. “It is not your agency’s role to expand the protections of Title VII under the pretext of preventing racial discrimination.
“If Congress wishes to protect former criminals from employment discrimination, it can amend the law,” they added. “Title VII’s prohibition on practices that have a disparate impact should not be used as just another regulatory tool to advance your agency’s policy agenda.”
But Berrien is not backing down. She has reissued her directive to employers to reconsider minority job applicants “screened out” due to criminal records.
Over and over, this administration has run roughshod over the stated will of legislators, even rewriting statutes to suit its radical agenda.
When Obama swore to faithfully execute the nation’s laws, he clearly intended to do no such thing