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It’s not about “protecting the children.” Anti-trans bills now increasingly target adults
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Safer Schools Means Better Mental Health Outcomes for LGBTQ+ Students
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The stop and frisk policies of the New York PD have been held unconstitutional.
Here’s an interesting initiative from the Obama administration:
Justice Dept. Seeks to Curtail Stiff Drug Sentences
The idea is apparently to circumvent the mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines passed a number of years ago by Congress. Here’s the key paragraph:
I’m all in favor of getting rid of mandatory minimum sentencing, or at least completely revising them. Heck, there’s drug laws I’d get rid of entirely.
But the above paragraph leaves me confused. So the prosecutor leaves out how much cocaine the defendant conspired to distribute in – what? The official charge? But then the amount is taken into account when the sentence is passed? So why should there be any difference?
The other issue I have is that this is apparently the DoJ deciding to circumvent Congress. The Executive’s department’s job is to “faithfully execute the Laws of the United States” – at least, that’s the oath their boss took. This doesn’t look like faithful execution to me. It’s the Congress’ job to write the laws and it’s the DoJ’s job to enforce them. It’s not the job of the DoJ to decide “Well, we don’t think that the laws Congress passed are in the country’s best interest, so we’ll just do an end run around them.” This substitutes the rule of man (in the person of the Attorney General or the POTUS) for rule of law.
On why it makes sense to have a no-tipping restaurant— I recommend reading the whole thing. It goes in some unexpected directions.
So there are various difficulties with implementing the ACA. There’s also been a lot of complaints from Congressional and Executive department staffers that it’s going to cost them a lot of money because they have “Cadillac” healthcare plans. In response, President Obama has decided to delay implementation of a number of sections of the ACA and is granting exemptions right and left.
Here’s my question: who elected him King? Because the last time I checked, only Congress had the authority to pass laws, and while the Judiciary can suspend or delete laws, they can only do that because they are not in accordance with the Constitution, not because they find it expedient.
Does this bother anybody?
Ron, do you know of a single pundit currently complaining about the ACA who made the same complaint about Bush delaying full implementation of the Small Business and Work Opportunity Act in 2007?
Execution of the law is up to the Executive branch, according to the Constitution.
Both Courts and past administrations.In the past, the Courts have stepped in only in extreme situations, where the executive was refusing to implement a law it opposed and didn’t have any compelling reasons to justify a multi-year delay. Even the current Supreme Court, as partisan as it is, is unlikely to rule that the executive doesn’t have the flexibility to delay implementation of a provision by a year in order to revise reporting requirements and give businesses time to adjust to the new requirements.
It is a bit of a technicality, admittedly – but so what? On the day you start complaining about Republicans using technicalities to get away from what the Constitution intended (such as effectively creating a super-majority rule in the Senate, and the Hastert rule in the House), I’ll begin to see such complaints from Republicans as something other than cynical opportunism.
No, there’s been concern because when the ACA amendment to put Congress on the health exchanges was written – by Republican Chuck Grassey, by the way – Grassey didn’t explain, in his amendment, what happens to the portion of Congressional pay that’s in the form of a subsidy for health insurance. (This is the same sort of subsidy routinely offered by most large employers.) At the time everyone assumed that the subsidy would just be applied to the health insurance from the Exchanges, but Grassey didn’t actually write that down.
Earlier this week the Administration ruled that the health care subsidy will be applied to the cost of the plans they get on the Exchanges. Which is just what Congress thought it was voting for when it voted for Grassey’s amendment. More background here and here.
It has nothing to do with “Cadillac” care, which isn’t even a category on the exchanges. Whether a congressional staffer chooses a gold, silver or bronze plan, they will continue to get the health care subsidy that’s part of their pay, and was long before Obamacare existed.
I have absolutely no idea. In fact, I have absolutely no idea what the heck the SBWOA is/was.
First, the Constitution leaves the determination of Congress’ procedural rules to Congress. Second, that example is the Legislative branch deciding how to write legislation, not the Executive Branch deciding to nullify or delay legislation.
Well, that’s not how I read about it. But of course many of the sources I’ve seen have an axe to grind, so I’ll check it out before commenting further in that vein.
As I said, a technicality. It is clear that the framers did not imagine virtually all routine votes requiring a supermajority (if they had, they never would have defined exceptional types of votes that do require a supermajority – plus we know that they themselves used majority voting for virtually everything in the first Congresses). That doesn’t make what the Republicans are doing unconstitutional; as you point out, it is Constitutional. It merely means that they’re taking advantage of a technicality to go against the intent of the Constitution for partisan purposes.
What Obama is doing is similar, and certainly Constitutional, except that he can make a far stronger case that the Constitution actually does intend to give the executive leeway for determining exactly how laws are executed. (That’s what the Supreme Court has believed in the past).
But really, you could also argue that he’s taking advantage of a technicality to do an end-run around the GOP blocking votes that, if majority votes were allowed, would certainly pass. But I don’t see how you have any credibility to object to politicians taking advantage of Constitutional technicalities, when you only object to it when Democrats do it.
I’m not objecting to taking advantage of Constitutional technicalities, and that’s not how I framed my objections. I’m objecting to one branch of our government going beyond it’s defined role to override the other. President Obama swore an oath to faithfully execute the laws of the United States. He’s not doing it.
In another thread, I argued with Robert that economic policy should not be treated as a morality play.
Now Christopher Mahoney, former vice chairman of Moody’s, charged Protestants with being incapable of understanding monetary policy. See, Protestants refuse to countenance loose money policies even when necessary because they offer a “free lunch” — a concept inimical to the Protestant ethic: “You could spread out a smorgasbord of caviar, salmon, lobster and Dom Perignon, and they would turn their heads and eat a cheese sandwich.”
Weird, since — last I heard — Robert was Catholic.
Well, that’s PART of the story. There is that pesky thing called the Constitution that also provides some substantive laws, too.
For example, the Constitution grants to Congress the power to spend. Unless Congress agrees to authorize the Executive to spend unlimited sums, the Executive will likely find that his powers to implement the laws are impeded by resource constraints. Thus, Executives have discretion in which laws to implement before others.
More specifically, from time to time courts find that prisons are overcrowded, violating the prohibition on Cruel and Unusual Punishment (another of those Constitutional thingies).
The Executive, looking over his duties and resources, could scarcely avoid the conclusion that the expenditure of scarce dollars and prison cells to warehouse geriatric drug sellers serving life terms is an obvious place to economize.
Ok, but may the Executive violate Congressionally-prescribed deadlines?
Recall that the Freedom of Information Act prescribes a strict deadline by which agencies must respond to public inquiries – but prescribes no specific funds for carrying out this duty. Agencies rapidly found themselves overwhelmed with requests, big and small. If we really regarded these deadlines as sacrosanct, al Quida could simply deluge the Pentagon with information requests, requiring the brass to divert all their resources to meeting the deadlines and paying no attention to other duties that, after all, did not come with Congressionally-imposed deadlines. Wisely or not, legally or not, I am not aware of any federal agency that honors the deadlines set forth in FOIA, nor any court that has imposed sanctions for tardiness.
As a final note: Congress is not powerless here. Notwithstanding the separation of powers, I argue that Congress may (and does) establish and fund its own agencies, distinct from Executive control. Thus, Congress could establish its own agency for implementing some aspects of health care finance reform. The fact that Congress does not do so arguably demonstrates that Congress has acquiesced in the Executive’s actions. (Ok, it demonstrates gridlock, too….)
Here are a couple of arguments as for why it’s Constitutional for the executive to have discretion in how a law is executed.
Delaying Parts of Obamacare: ‘Blatantly Illegal’ or Routine Adjustment? – Simon Lazarus – The Atlantic
Constitution Check: Can the government legally delay the health care mandates?
From the second link, by Lyle Dennison of SCOTUSblog:
So that’s the argument. You may not agree with it, but it’s not unreasonable on its face, and it’s certainly not clear that delaying the employer mandate is “unconstitutional.”
Chelsea Manning, née Bradley, has announced her intent to transition and requested the use of female pronouns.
Big. Damn. Heroine.
If all that Pfc. Manning had revealed was specific information about what could be considered war crimes, then I could see a basis to
debatesupport your opinion of heroism. But 750,000 pages of information were passed on, most of which included information that had nothing to do with any such thing and that endangered both U.S. personnel and U.S. foreign policy (not that either the President or his Secretary of States have shown much effectiveness in the latter). Pfc. Manning was grossly indiscriminate in what was passed along and took no care or consideration in the effects of those actions. There was no honor in this and no accolades are deserved.
Amp, please change “debate” to “support” in the first sentence above. Thanks!
It was conceded at trial by the prosecution that her actions did not endanger troops.
My post, however, was about her coming out.
First of all, as has already been pointed out, none of the information released endangered anyone.
Second of all, the information wasn’t leaked indiscriminately – it was sent to Wikileaks, which has released a little under 2000 of the 200,000 pieces they have, mostly through collaboration with long-established press. And although Manning had a “top secret” clearance, none of what he took and released was classified that highly – he clearly selected for lower-clearance items.
Third of all, this is a democracy, and some daylight on foreign policy is a good thing. Just because something embarrasses the US government is not enough to justify keeping it secret from American voters.
Ptc. Manning isn’t perfect or a saint; but she is a hero who sacrificed everything to keep Americans free. There’s a pretty good overview, from a lefty perspective, here.