wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost2

Most Read: Opinions

direct signup

Today’s Opinions poll

Should Congress deal with the immigration crisis -- tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors at the border -- before its August recess?

Submit
Next
Review your answers and share

Join a Discussion

Weekly schedule, past shows

Post Partisan
Posted at 03:23 PM ET, 06/22/2012

PostScript: Charles Krauthammer and immigration

Happy Friday from PostScript! Here in the bunker we are awash in innovation because the floors don’t drain properly. But it has its benefits: Today we are able to bring you, for the first time, PostScript Video Edition! With subtitles in Hungarian, by popular demand! It’s on Charles Krauthammer’s column excoriating President Obama’s recent move to let some illegal immigrants stay legally in the country. Let’s go to the videotape.

With this in mind, let us look at the comments, 2,500 strong, which are about whether Obama’s action is legal or not, a technical judgment on federal jurisdictional arcana requiring far more knowledge of the law than ANY of us has. Not that it deters us! Also, our opinion doesn’t matter at all! Let’s go.

DELewes says Obama’s statement is legal:

It is in fact legal for a President to say, ‘I hereby pardon jaywalkers, child molesters, tax cheats or whomever might suit me.’ The Constitution explicitly gives the President the power to pardon, commute and exercise discretion in faithfully executing the laws of the United States. Last I checked the Constitution supercedes laws of Congress.
The Pardon process is also at the discretion of the President. Ford did not use ‘normal’ procedures when he pardoned Nixon, nor did Carter when he granted amnesty to conscientious objectors from the Vietnam War era.

kitchendragon50 says Obama’s actions are unconstitutional.

It is Congress that has the stated power “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization...”.
Obama’s declaration means the rules are no longer uniform and the President will decide our immigration policy.

Wmbrent references a quote Krauthammer used to establish that even Obama doesn’t believe his actions are within his presidential powers. Keep reading, wmbrent says, and the story gets less crystal clear:

Obama’s very next statement, after the one Krauthammer cherry-picked above, was “That does not mean, though, that we can’t make decisions, for example, to emphasize enforcement on those who’ve engaged in criminal activity.”

BigKahuna1 wonders how far rationalizing Obama’s move could go:

So then Obama could just tell the IRS to tax the rich at a higher rate then...right? What is Obama waiting for?

Muddy_Buddy_2000 says Obama has been totally lawful:

Absolutely nothing is illegal about the President’s actions. He simply delayed the deportation of a group for two years. This is completely in his power, not grab of power whatsoever. The idea that he cannot do this for a group has no legal basis. Now other groups could sue perhaps, but that would be a civil issue.

PostScript finds that last thought intriguing but suspect. Other groups may be able to sue for equal protection under the law, but that doesn’t apply to non-citizens, we think. And it doesn’t matter what we think.

Now that that’s all settled, we’d like to end PostScript for this week with a suggestion that we can all enjoy, riffing on the Krauthammer’s column’s headline that seems less Washington Post and more New York Post:

Bls2011 says:

“Naked Lawlessness???” Coming soon to a theatre near you, I guess.

By Rachel Manteuffel  |  03:23 PM ET, 06/22/2012

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company