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Can the Feds Go Too Far?

Weekend News and Views
by Rebekah Maxwell

 

Has President Obama finally gone too far?

For those of us who follow the many machinations and usurpations of this Administration, the term “federal overreach” may as well replace our daily greetings. Hello. How are you? Federal overreach. It is the smoggy new normal, wafting from Washington, that we sadly live and breathe. Rarely will the government acknowledge their own greedy expansion; never will they stop it.

Senator Ted Cruz put forth an interesting call to action Sunday, asking Democrats to hold the President accountable when he supersedes or circumvents the law (which could certainly be a full-time job). Until now, the other two branches have often accepted illegal acts from the White House passively, refusing to rock the rotting ship. But Obama may have crossed the wrong line…because the Supreme Court is taking on the case.

Back in 2012, Obama bypassed the Senate to appoint three new members to the National Labor Relations Board. He does have the right to make recess appointments under Article II Section 2. The only problem? The Senate wasn’t really in recess at the time. So starting today, the Supreme Court will consider who gets to determine what/when “recess” is, and possibly place a check on the President to restore a little balance. Of course, this is the court that thought Obamacare perfectly constitutional, so I wouldn’t hold out too much hope.

 

Lest the Senate feel bad about being usurped, they should know they’re not the only ones the White House runs over roughshod; the state of Utah knows the feeling. The Obama Administration confirmed on Friday that, in spite of the state’s constitution, and the court battle in progress, they will federally recognize same-sex unions in Utah as marriages. Because, when it comes to what’s legal in a supposedly-sovereign state, a federal decree trumps a state constitution? I suppose it’s not much different than bending law to the opinion of a single unelected judge. The ball’s in your court, Governor Herbert…that means, stand up for the law and for your state.

 

Speaking of federal overreach sans oversight, a little town in Wyoming has become a battleground between the state’s authority and the EPA. The Environmental Protection Agengy approved a petition that redrew the borders of the Wind River Indian Reservation, adding 1 million acres of land beyond what Congress decreed in 1905. Overnight, the town of Riverton is now no longer part of the state of Wyoming, causing a flurry of concerns over law enforcement, jurisdiction, taxes, and state sovereignty. Wyoming’s governor, Matt Mead is vowing to fight.

“My deep concern is about an administrative agency of the federal government altering a state’s boundary and going against over 100 years of history and law,” Mead said in a statement. “This should be a concern to all citizens because, if the EPA can unilaterally take land away from a state, where will it stop?” Where, indeed?

 

More than 300,000 people in West Virginia are still without safe drinking water five days after a major chemical spill polluted their water supply. Now, if you were in charge of the company that caused such a big mess, how would you respond? Hopefully not by turning down reporters’ questions, with the excuse that “it’s been an extremely long day” for you,  while swigging repeatedly from a bottle of clean water on camera. Because no one would be that callous and/or dense to public suffering, right? Except for Gary Southern of Freedom Industries. Fortunately, the same clip shows at least one journalist was willing to press for some answers.

 

Israel remembers former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon today.

A fierce warrior and military strategist, Sharon fought for Israel in five wars, earning the nickname “Lion of God,” before being appointed to political leadership. Sharon’s legacy remains controversial, especially regarding his reversal on the Gaza Strip (first supporting Israeli ownership, then later forcibly removing Jewish settlements there). The Obama Adminstration seems to be treading lightly to avoid offending both the nation of Israel, and the Palenstinian groups with whom they’ve been negotiating. So, as with all delicate, diplomatic, affairs of international importance, we sent Joe Biden. And John Kerry. What could possibly go wrong?