Demonstrably since the time of FDR the presidency has usurped to itself or been abrogated by Congress increasingly large amounts of power.  As such, in many ways, it has been turned into an Imperial Presidency.  But we should all be reminded that we do not have a monarchy in this country.  Instead we have a democracy based upon the Separation of Powers as expressly set forth in our Constitution – and this works for the benefit and protection of us all.  Thus a president should not be able unilaterally to send our combat troops into war in places like Korea, Vietnam, Serbia, Panama, Somalia, Iraq or Afghanistan.  Similarly, President Obama should not have been able unilaterally to change our laws to keep “Dreamers” from being deported.  And President Trump should not be allowed unilaterally to impose tariffs, withdraw us from treaties, or stop the practice of awarding citizenship to people solely because they were born in this country.

        Regardless of whether we agree with the decisions made by our presidents or not, we should insist that the Constitution be followed. (I happen to agree with President Obama about the “Dreamers,” and also agree with President Trump that people born in this country should not have automatic citizenship – but I still strongly object to the procedures used by them both!)  Congress should be involved before we change our laws or treaties, and before we go into battle on an extended basis.  And if the interpretation of the 14th Amendment is to be changed such that people who are born here are no longer determined automatically to be citizens, a test case should be brought in our federal courts, eventually leaving it to our Supreme Court to make that interpretation.  Congress has allowed these usurpations to happen because not enough of the individual members want to take the political responsibility for the various outcomes.  But if they don’t act within the Constitution, they should be replaced by others who will.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President