With Arctic Drilling Ban, Obama Continues His Historic Abuse of Power

I couldn’t say this any better. Here’s an independent’s response to Obama’s abuse of executive power. 

While the left panics over President-elect Donald Trump and the erosion of democratic norms, President Barack Obama went ahead and issued another decree without any regard for the nation’s legislative process.

It’s nothing new. Obama’s latest executive move, banning offshore drilling in large areas of the Atlantic and Arctic waters, folds neatly into six years of executive control. The ban hinges on a provision of the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, a law designed to protect marine sanctuaries. “The seldom used measure” explains NBC News, “allows the executive to permanently freeze offshore drilling in specified regions.

And unlike the First, Second, Fifth or Tenth Amendments of the Constitution, which Democrats have treated as mere suggestions over the past eight years, a provision from 1953 is eternal and nonnegotiable according to the administration—like a commandment transmitted from the heavens. Well, that is unless Republicans pass another law or amend the existing one, right?

There’s no explicit statement within the act that says protections are permanent anyway. So Republicans would likely be able to overturn this diktat, as they can the rest of Obama’s rickety legacy, which is predominately built on circumventing the lawmaking branch of the United States government. The problem is that Trump (and anyone else who comes along) has little reason not to adopt Obama’s unprecedented use of the executive power.

No post-World War II president (and maybe no president in our history) justified executive overreach as a function of his office, regularly contending that Congress—which kept adding seats throughout his presidency—had abdicated its responsibility by refusing to go along with his plans. Whether courts found his actions constitutional or not (and quite often they did), it’s an argument that stands, at the very least, against the spirit of American governance.

On the bright side, though, now that a progressive president is leaving office, the media will almost certainly frame abuses of power as something out of the ordinary.

Via David Harsanyi