Fox News Channel Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano is unimpressed by states suing the federal government over President Obama unilaterally changing immigration laws or by House Republicans pushing legislation to forbid Obama from moving forward in implementing his policies.
Napolitano, who has a weekly column at WND, is also not urging lawmakers to defund enforcement of what many on the right consider amnesty. Instead, the former New Jersey Superior Court judge thinks Obama’s actions warrant his removal from office.
Earlier this week, 17 states, led by Texas Attorney General and Governor-Elect Greg Abbott, filed suit against the federal government. Napolitano said that’s not going to get the job done.
“They can file all the lawsuits they want and the court is going to say, ‘Tell your client, Mr. Boehner, tell your client, Senator McConnell, that there’s a perfectly acceptable remedy right there in the Constitution that’s bloodless, and they can do it by taking a couple of votes,” Napolitano said. “It’s called impeachment.'”
Republicans from leadership to moderates to the most rock-ribbed conservatives have all dismissed any speculation about impeachment since they clearly don’t have the votes to convict Obama in the Senate and they believe it will backfire politically heading into 2016. Nonetheless, Napolitano finds that GOP position baffling.
“For some bizarre reason that I have yet to understand, the Republican leadership in Washington believes that if they file articles of impeachment, this is going to elect Hillary president,” he said. “What? That’s a disconnect to me.”
On Thursday, the House approved legislation authored by Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., that forbids Obama from implementing any unilateral changes to immigration law. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., vows the bill will never reach the Senate floor on his watch. Napolitano believes the bill would never achieve its desired effect.
“They could enact a statute that says all these executive orders are illegal and no one’s to obey them,” he said. “The president could veto that. Let’s say they have enough votes to override his veto. They don’t, but let’s say they do. Let’s say they override the veto and the statute becomes law without the president’s signature. He’s not going to obey that statute. He doesn’t obey the laws that were in existence at the time he took an oath to enforce them faithfully. He’s certainly not going to obey a statute that was written in order to regulate his behavior when he’s already decided that his behavior is going to be the opposite of it.”
Napolitano said the case for Obama acting unconstitutionally is very clear.
“We have a lawless president who is saying to five million people, ‘You want to stay here? Do A,B,C,D and E.’ Where did the A,B,C,D and E come from? He made them up,” he said. “They’re not even in the statute as it now exist.”
Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Judge Andrew Napolitano:
While Napolitano does not claim the votes exist to convict Obama, he contends the damage being done to America’s system of government by Obama circumventing Congress needs to be addressed.
“That effectively denies the public its voice in Congress,” he said. “When Congress writes a law and the president doesn’t enforce it, and the president instead rewrites the law, nullifies the law or writes his own, all of which Barack Obama has just done, he is effectively nullifying Congress. If that’s not an impeachable event, I don’t know what is,” said Napolitano.
In his new book, “Suicide Pact: The radical expansion of presidential powers and the assault on civil liberties,” Napolitano chronicles what he sees as the lawless grab of executive power by presidents throughout history. His examples include Abraham Lincoln detaining 3,000 reporters from northern states who were critical of his handling of the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson banning the speaking of German in public in the days of World War I and Franklin Roosevelt confiscating gold from American citizens before he had any legal grounds for doing so.
But Napolitano saves half of his book to blast the war on terrorism policies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, including expanded NSA powers, due-process denials and the targeting of American citizens in drone strikes.
Immigration policy is largely seen as separate from the issues raised in “Suicide Pact,” but Napolitano said it’s further evidence of the insatiable desire of presidents to accumulate more and more power for themselves.
“The essence of the book is when presidential lawbreaking is unpunished, unchecked and not stopped, presidents will continue to do it,” he said. “And they will rely on the unpunished, unstopped, unchecked, unconstitutional behavior of their predecessors to justify it.”
The judge firmly believes that Republicans and Democrats are largely in agreement on what he considers the biggest three issues facing America, and their biggest public squabbles are on the periphery. He said it’s an opinion that’s not well-received at the Fox News Channel but one he feels compelled to articulate anyway.
“The three great issues of our day in my view are: Where do our rights come from? Both parties believe our rights come from the government because they have taken our rights away from us by majority vote. Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence and most Americans would tell you our rights come from our humanity,” Napolitano said. “The second and third great issues of our day are war and debt, and both parties believe in perpetual war and perpetual debt.”
If both parties are truly guilty of pushing America down this path, as Napolitano alleges, what recourse do Americans have to reverse the tide? He thinks a different kind of president can set things on the right track, and he has a candidate in mind.
“The solution is probably to elect somebody like the fellow that wrote the forward in this book to the White House, but that would presume that there’d be a number of people who agree with him in both houses of Congress. I speak of (Kentucky Senator) Rand Paul,” he said.
“In my worldview, when the Democrats and the Republicans are on the same side and it’s always bigger, stronger government and smaller and lesser liberty, only a person who truly would break that mold will be able to break it. A middle-of-the-road Republican or a middle-of-the-road Democrat in the White House, a la George W. Bush, John McCain, Mitt Romney, will further this march toward totalitarianism, not stop and reverse it.”