Most presidents test the limits of their executive powers, but Barack Obama’s efforts to build a legacy for himself by doing so has resulted in far less success than that of his last five predecessors.
In a current report by the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, the all-digital news site identifies seven of the president’s recent attempts to overreach his constitutional authority that have been thwarted in the federal courts.
The president’s 45 percent win rate falls well below that of the last five presidents, who prevailed against 60-75 percent of the challenges to their authority.
Alden Abbott, deputy director of the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, said of the findings, “This reflects an Obama administration pattern of ignoring the rule of law and usurping the role of Congress.”
Among the Obama initiatives identified by The Daily Signal that have either been struck down by the courts or are pending appeals that will be decided when the current vacancy on the Supreme Court is filled are far-reaching issues of immigration, the environment, health care and rights of personal privacy.
Texas is directly or indirectly involved in all of these rebukes and our U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is perhaps the upper chamber’s most ardent opponent of the president’s declaration that he alone will decree more government controls of American lives.
According to a series of findings issued by Cruz’s office, 20 attempts by Obama to expand federal power have been unanimously rejected by Supreme Court justices, two of whom where appointed by him.
In a separate report, Cruz has detailed some 76 actions he identifies as abuses of power.
“Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency,” he wrote, “none is more dangerous than the president’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat.”
Cruz arranges his complaints in eight categories of governing by executive order: national security, Obamacare, the economy, executive nominees and personnel, free speech and privacy, other lawless acts and other abuses of power.
While most of those complaints are cast aside by Democrats in Congress and others lack the support of his fellow Republicans, the former solicitor general of Texas knows how to make a case before the Supreme Court.
He represented us there before what The Washington Post described as “the biggest upset of 2012” when he won his seat in the U. S. Senate.
He was also the last man standing among the 16 contenders for the Republican nomination for president before Donald Trump, who Cruz now supports for the nation’s highest office, won it.
His principal motivation for the endorsement is based on his passionate belief that Hillary Clinton should never become president.
If she does, she will have to deal with Cruz because of her promises to continue and expand on Obama’s mission of enlarging the federal government.
Her greatest challenge would come when she sends up nominations for the high court. That, after all, is the ultimate risk to our liberties as a nation of free people able to decide our own futures.
Being increasingly dominated by policies and actions mandated by liberal politicians and judges supporting the edicts of an ever more powerful executive occupying the Oval Office is abhorrent to us.
Come Nov. 8, we will know the outcome of this historic election.
If we have another President Clinton to deal with, the country can thank Texas for resistance to her plans, in the person of Ted Cruz.
Even then, we will still have to hope that his fellow Republicans won’t leave him standing alone.
Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.