Today, in a blow to the Obama administration, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that President Obama’s “recess appointments” to the National Labor Relations Board violated the Constitution in NLRB v. Noel Canning.I wrote ten months ago why the law and federal-court rulings do not matter to Obama. And I make the same point now that I made then:
Art. II, section 2, clause 3 of the Constitution allows the president to “fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate.” On Jan. 4, 2012,President Obama made several recess appointments even though the Senate had been convening “pro forma” sessions every three days. These appointments were challenged in a labor dispute before the NLRB, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck them down as unconstitutional.
Does this ruling bind this president from doing what he wants to do? Of course not. No one in America has both the power and the determination to hinder Obama from doing whatever he wants.What has changed since then? Nothing.
As I was discussing Obama's totalist ideology this week with a relative, I pointed out that Obama could ask a parallel question of the federal courts that Josef Stalin asked when it was suggested to him that he should treat Russian Catholics better to gain favor with the Pope as the Nazi threat loomed: "The Pope!" Stalin exclaimed. "How many divisions has he got?"
And so with President Obama and federal courts' rulings: they have no means of enforcing their rulings. As any intemperate two-year old knows, you can do anything you want until someone compels you to stop. And so Obama can order whatever he wishes until he is compelled to stop.
The courts lacks the means of such compulsion. That leaves the Congress to rein in the executive. (Please excuse me while I erupt in peals of derisive laughter.)