By now, everyone in tha galaxy knows that the Obama administration issued a new batch of ObamaCare waivers to its political cronies on Friday (nearly half of the recent batch of 128 went to unions).
Everyone with any sense of ethics understands that the waivers are indicative of an utterly corrupt administration, but not many have raised what should be an obvious question: Are they constitutional?
Philip Hamburger, Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, is one of the few legal scholars who has given this question serious consideration, and his answer is an unequivical NO!
The president cannot simply decide who does and does not have to follow the law.
And why not? Well, special dispensations have a history:
Waivers can be used for good purposes. But since the [Middle Ages] they have been recognized as a power above the law—a power used by government to co-opt powerful constituencies by freeing them from the law. Like old English kings, the current administration is claiming such a power to decide that some people do not have to follow the law. This is dangerous, above the law, and unauthorized by the Constitution.
Yep. The last time they were used this way was by Kings:
The underlying justification was that the king had absolute power—a power above the law—and this caused consternation … it was troubling enough that the pope, in imitation of God, excused individuals from canon law; but it was even more immediately worrisome that the king now was dispensing with statutes and sometimes suspending them, for this suggested that he had power above the law of the land.
Eventually a stop was put to it in Europe. And, in the US, neither the federal constitution nor its state counterparts permit the executive to issue special dispensations from any law passed by the legislature.
And yet, King Barack and his loyal vassals at HHS are doing just that. In 2012, his majesty and his corrupt administration must be given the same treatment the House Democrats got last November.
Our liberty depends on it.