Saturday, August 29, 2009

Obama's Unconstitutional "Czars"

By Alan Caruba

Here’s a question that has been nagging me for months. Are Obama’s ever-growing number of “czars” constitutional? I am not a constitutional scholar, but I have read the document.

“Article II. Section 2. “He (the President) shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consults, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein provided for, and which shall be established by law; but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.”

As I read it, the Constitution is very specific about whom the President may appoint and he can do so only within parameters “established by law” and this applies specifically to the “heads of departments.” I interpret this to mean Cabinet Secretaries, all of whom must be vetted and approved for their positions by the Senate.

The Republican National Committee’s conservative caucus recently passed a resolution expressing their concern noting that “The U.S. Constitution explicitly states government officers with significant authority (called ‘principal officers’) must be nominated by the President and are subject to a vote of the U.S. Senate.”

Obama’s appointments are clearly “principal officers” though it will be argued that they are only advisors to the office of the President. Clearly, Obama’s appointments are not heads of departments, but they appear to have been granted an unknown degree of influence and control as regards their responsibilities. They function “in the dark.”

For example, since we have a Department of Labor why do we need an “Auto Recovery” czar, Ed Montgomery, who reports to Larry Summers, the President’s top economic advisor? What can he do to effect recovery? And, constitutionally speaking is it lawful for the United States to have “ownership” of General Motors? Or any other private enterprise? I think not.

Why does President Obama need a “Special Envoy for Climate Change”? Todd Stern reports to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but we have the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that includes the National Weather Service. What exactly does Stern do and why? Stern is best known for having helped negotiate the Kyoto climate pact which was based on the discredited claims of a global warming that is not happening. It was instantly rendered void by the exemption of nations such as China and India.

Meanwhile, the so-called energy and environment czar, Carol Browner, is reportedly coordinating policy in the same area as the “climate change” czar despite the fact that we have both a Department of Energy and an Environmental Protection Agency. Obama's choice for “Green Jobs” czar, Van Jones, is a Marxist radical.

I could go on, but the point, obviously, is that there is an enormous amount of overlap going on and it involves appointees who give the appearance of being doppelgangers to the existing Secretaries and the huge bureaucracies they oversee. They answer directly to the President, but presumably so do the Secretaries whom we occasionally see gathered around a huge table in cabinet meetings.

If these people who have not been approved by the Senate or occupy positions that have not been “established by law” and are not “heads of departments” exist solely at the pleasure of the President, are we not hip deep in some very muddy waters concerning who is answerable to the Senate or House committees?

I am of the belief that Obama has methodically gone about creating a shadow government of men and women with undefined powers, but who likely have even more influence with the Oval Office than those who hold office under the mandates of the Constitution.

To borrow a term from the White House, it all smells “fishy” to me in ways that go beyond just the provision of advice and which likely intrude deeply into the process by which laws and regulations are drafted and enacted.

There are now some thirty or more of these “czars” and they represent a threat to the authority of the Congress and could be utilized in some manufactured “crisis” to take control of the federal government, dispensing with the rule of law.


Carolyn said...

Hi Mr. Caruba. The more I read about these czars- the more and more they scare the daylights out of me. That old saying that you are who you hang around with is what really is the frightening part. All the stuff about J. Wright and Bill Ayres aside. Have you seen some of these czars writtings?! They are really scary people with power not lawfully theirs! I do hope people will wake up to the way the Constitution is being shredded by the obami administration.
God Bless you Mr. Caruba. Thank you for adding your voice to the few others who are trying so hard to shout the truth!

Alan Caruba said...

Yes, frankly, most of them scare me, too.

Louise W said...

Alan.....I believe that the "if something happens" is more like"when something happens." There is trouble brewing and Obama are getting ready for the big day. All these people (czars) have been hand picked far in advance for this time.

I sincerely belive there will be an orchestrated, radical attempt to take over the United States and the Constitution to be damned. There is massive amounts of evidence and common sense points to such an event. One cannot hide their head in the sand any longer.

Obama and his cohorts do not care what the people are saying in the streets. The only thing that can stop him is ACTION BY WE THE PEOPLE. It's that or serfdom.

Buzzg said...

"......they represent a threat to the authority of the Congress and could be utilized in some manufactured “crisis” to take control of the federal government, dispensing with the rule of law."

Well said, and I believe that's the intended future use/purpose of these people. The "czars" are nothing more than a new rendition of the Soviet Politburo.
Much of what 0 has done is unconstitutional. That should be no surprise given his public disdain for our country.
His firing of the GM CEO and resultant takeover of the company and redistribution of ownership without regard for the rights of the Board and stockholders is blatantly illegal. This was justiified by him because GM received government funds as a handout. Dispensing funds from the public Treasury to private individuals/businesses is illegal.
You may recall that some corporations, banks, etc. that received these "stimulus" funds were not permitted to give the money back. The camel has his nose in the tent.
It would not surprise me one bit, if he stays in office/survives long enough, he and his Politburo will one day run this country from the Oval Office without regard for the Congress as they will be rendered moot and mute.

Buzzg said...

If you believe that this administration, though apparently intellectually challenged is stupid, consider this.

" S773, still in draft form, will permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector internet networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency. The bill would allow the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "non-governmental" computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for "cybersecurity professionals," and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license."
Talk about not letting a good crisis go to waste.

Anonymous said...

Hi Alan. You have expressed my sentiments exactly. Obama even has a God czar, as if God needs one. Having taught U.S. Governemt classes at a Christian school, I am deeply concerned that our constitution will be shredded if we ever have another contrived national "crisis" and Obama's citizen army is waiting in the wings to enforce whatever new form of government he wants to establish. It is a frightening thought. Keep the faith, my friend.

Guy said...

Perhaps all of these positions are nothing more than a way of making political paybacks for the people who supported Obama's quest for the office of President. Perhaps there's more to it. Either way, I don't like it. Best case, what we have are more high paid government jobs for people who produce nothing. Worst case, we have some sort of new shadow branch of government that isn't accountable to the people. I've already added this subject to my long list of things to keep fighting ....

mawm said...

Hi Alan,

I'm a concerned foreigner.

Surely, if what Obama and his cronies are doing is unconstitutional and/or illegal, they should be challenged in the courts. The justice system can't have been corrupted this quickly.

Or perhaps there is something more sinister going on and nobody is prepared to risk their careers/lives by doing so.

I have a very strong feeling that your President is nothing more than a carefully groomed and controlled frontman. He is intellectually incapable of doing the planning and organising these changes that are being used to weaken America.

Alan Caruba said...

mawm, your concern is welcome, but it is my belief that by Oct 2010 the Democrat Party will have committed political suicide and the Congress will belong to the GOP. Obama will be neutered at that point.

Of course, the economy will be awful, but by reversing his policies and actions, confidence can be restore.

Unknown said...

Let's not get carried away here. Here's a good article outlining the whole czar thing. Presidents have been appointing czars for years. What Obama is doing it by no means unconstitutional.