Sunday, January 23, 2022
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, February 17, 2014
When Presidents Upheld the Law
By Heritage Foundation @ 12:37 PM :: 3332 Views :: National News

When Presidents Upheld the Law

by Rich Tucker, Heritage Foundation, February 17, 2014

Today is known as “President’s Day,” a three-day weekend retailers use to lend an air of Founding-era seriousness to their sales. But its legal name is Washington’s birthday—and how appropriate to reflect on a President who took his bearings from the Constitution while serving in office.

George Washington “understood himself to be the President of a Republic in which the people, through their elected representatives in Congress, make laws,” Heritage’s David Azerrad writes. As the chief executive, Washington recognized that his constitutional charge to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” was a duty rather than an optional responsibility to exercise at will. Laws, no matter how unpopular, had to be upheld, so long, of course, as they were constitutional.

Perhaps no law was more despised in Washington’s time than the excise tax on whiskey. It fell especially hard on farmers on the frontier of Pennsylvania, for whom whiskey was the drink of choice and grain the most lucrative crop. Washington saw the farmers’ violent resistance to the tax—the so-called Whiskey Rebellion—as a direct threat to the rule of law.

If “the laws are to be so trampled upon with impunity,” Washington noted, “nothing but anarchy and confusion is to be expected hereafter.” The President’s response was therefore swift and forceful: He personally led more than 12,000 troops to western Pennsylvania and quashed the rebellion.

What a contrast to President Barack Obama’s “I can do whatever I want” attitude toward the rule of law. In light of Washington’s constitutional leadership, Obama’s dereliction of duty when it comes to enforcing Obamacare—today’s most unpopular law and the President’s namesake—is especially clear. The President has unilaterally made changes to the law that was passed by Congress.

>>> 7 times Obama did “do whatever I want” during his presidency

Other examples of the President’s selective enforcement of laws duly passed by Congress abound. Among those cited by legal experts Elizabeth Slattery and Andrew Kloster:

  • Abdicating the Administration’s duty to defend and enforce federal laws.
  • Gutting the work requirement from welfare reform.
  • Implementing the DREAM Act granting amnesty to some illegal immigrants by executive fiat.

>>> See more Obama overreach

“We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help that they need,” Obama announced last month.

It is inconceivable that such words would have ever come out of President Washington’s mouth. The current occupant of the White House may want to take some time today to read up on how our first and greatest President understood his role.

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

Quick Hits:

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Life Alliance

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT