Editorial: President Biden is using Title 42 against Venezuelans. That’s cowardly policymaking.
President Barack Obama is the chief executive of American foreign policy. The law is not his handmaiden. With the use of Title 42 of the U.S. Code, Obama is using the executive branch to impose a foreign policy that violates the Constitution. If that isn’t wrong, what is?
There’s a lot going on in the U.S. right now. But one is missing. It is Barack Obama’s refusal to use the legal system to protect American citizens from illegal executive actions. That was a scandal when it erupted, and it has since been confirmed as a scandal. It threatens to undermine the foundation upon which the democratic republic of the United States was built.
Title 42 was created in 1933 by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It allows the executive branch, specifically one branch of government—the Departments of Labor, Labor, and Commerce, to take actions that require the approval of Congress. One such action is firing of employees without congressional approval, or failing to issue them paychecks (for an eight-hour workday). Congress has only been able to pass this bill once during Obama’s time in office.
Obama has violated the law more than three times now. In 2012, he used a new law to fire U.S. attorney Preet Bharara. He didn’t have to do that. President Bill Clinton used the same law that Obama violated. His replacement, Loretta Lynch, didn’t have to either, because Lynch was acting as a presidential administrative law judge when she fired Bharara. The Department of Justice still did not have to defend the firing of Bharara.
That was a law that Congress passed, by law, for the purpose of stopping Obama’s executive orders. In other words, Congress is saying that the president can’t take actions that require law-making. Yet, Obama does it all the time. In 2013, he used the law to allow for the deportation of 11 million immigrants into the U.S. The law is clear. The president can’t do this; Congress has to fix it. Obama simply did it anyway.
Obama then gave himself the authority to not only fire his own U.S. attorney, but also to