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'Transparent' Obama gun committee keeps secrets
Posted By Bob Unruh On 02/01/2013 @ 8:47 pm In Front Page,Politics,U.S. | No Comments
A legal action against Barack Obama by Freedom Watch director Larry Klayman over the president’s formation of the Obama Gun Control Task Force has been expanded to demand information about the results of its work.
Klayman noted Obama and Vice President Joe Biden “promised the most open government in American history.”
“Instead, we have seen a ‘star chamber’ mentality and approach,” he said. “It’s time that they both sobered up and respected the rule of law, as they are seeking to impose unwarranted and illegal executive actions on ‘We the People’ which infringe our Second Amendment rights.”
Klayman said that in light of the recent D.C. Circuit Court ruling that Obama had exceeded his executive authority with regard to the National Labor Relations Board recess appointment, has case under the Federal Advisory Committee Act has greater credibility.
“Obama’s and Biden’s executive actions as a result of these secret meetings are equally null and void as are the rulings of the NLRB,” he contended.
The recent court ruling rejected Obama’s claim that the Senate was in recess. The court, therefore, ruled the appointments unconstitutional, a stunning defeat for a sitting president.
The case raises questions about the status of the appointees, who still are on the government payroll, as well their decisions before the court ruling.
Klayman’s original case sought an order that Obama’s executive actions on gun control not be implemented, charging the advisory committee is illegal.
The updated filing added a count for Obama’s failure to release minutes of the meetings – which the advisory committee continues to refuse to produce – so the American people can see for themselves the lobbying influences on Obama and Biden with regard to gun control.
The Federal Advisory Committee Act was the same law Klayman used to take the Cheney Energy Task Force all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court for having kept its meetings with energy lobbyists secret.
He also invoked the law in a case pending against Obama for his “equally secretive Obmacare task force.”
The original case states the American people “will continue to suffer permanent and irreparable injury” unless the task force is brought into compliance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
Klayman, a longtime monitor of government activity who earlier founded Judicial Watch and made a name for himself suing Bill and Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and a slew of foreign dictators, wrote Obama a letter asking him to abide by the federal law in his establishment of a team to advise him on gun control.
Klayman, whose cases against Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have made headlines, became so well-known that a character in the TV series “West Wing,” Harry Klaypool, was based on him.
He told WND the case was brought in the Middle District of Florida alleging the Obama White House “had a duty to the American people to provide at least 15 days notice to the public of the meetings which [Joe] Biden has been chairing to recommend so-called gun control measures following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.”
“In their zeal to use this tragedy for political purposes and to try to ram quickly increased legislative gun control measures, if not gun confiscation and/or significant infringement through executive order, down the throats of the American people – in violation of Second Amendment rights – President Obama and Vice President Biden have thumbed their nose at the law and instead been holding closed door meetings with special interest lobbyists on both sides of the issue,” Klayman charged.
“The American people, whose rights to gun ownership stem from colonial times and are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, are being illegally shut out of the process. In this regard, on January 7, 2013, Freedom Watch demanded in writing that the 15 days notice be provided and that Larry Klayman and it be permitted to be present and participate on behalf of the American people.”
But Klayman noted that his legal demand didn’t generate a response.
“As a result our complaint demands that the meetings be opened up fully to members of the public who request, upon proper and timely notice by the Gun Control Task Force, the right to participate, and that if the administration fails to comply immediately that the court order that the Gun Control Task Force be shut down … be declared illegal and enjoined from implementation,” Klayman said.
“There simply is no excuse for the president and vice president, as occurred with its Obamacare federal advisory committee, to make gun policy exclusively with lobbyists. Open government is more honest government.”
The complaint names Obama, Biden, the task force and “John and Jane Does.”
Klayman’s complaint explains that “by designating this newly formed task force, which is a presidential advisory committee, de jure and/or de facto, defendant Obama has made the meetings subject to the provisions of FACA.”
Under those requirements, an advisory committee must “publish within the Federal Registry notice of an meeting 15 days prior to that meeting, and the meetings must be made open to members of the public who seek access pursuant to FACA, as plaintiff did herein.”
But the complaint notes that while Obama designated the advisory team on Dec. 19, its first meeting was Dec. 20.
“It has been widely reported and disclosed by the national media that non-federal employees, including lobbyists from the video game industry, Walmart, and other private lobbyists … fully participated in non-public meetings of the OGCTF as if they were members,” the complaint said.
Obama’s failure to meet the federal requirements means that the White House has “deprived plaintiff of its right, granted by the FACA, to participate in meetings held by the OGCTF, to have advance notice of those meetings, and to have a voice in the affairs of the OGCTF on behalf of the American people.”
Obama had said a comprehensive approach is needed to reduce the nation’s gun violence – much more than just resurrecting an expired ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.
So he appointed Biden to a working group to look at proposals such as universal background checks for gun buyers, government tracking of the movement of weapons and stiffer penalties.
The reaction follows the massacre in Newtown, Conn., in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza is accused of killing his mother, then going to a nearby school and killing 20 children and another five adults.
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