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There has been much discussion of the Executive Orders President Obama issued to help the fight against gun violence in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings. To test your knowledge of current events, how many Executive Orders, acts with the force of Law, did President Obama sign?? Get your answer firmly in mind before venturing past the Squid...

The correct answer, of course, is NONE. Not a single one.

Technically, as New York magazine noted Wednesday afternoon, Obama’s measures were “executive actions,” including three “presidential memoranda” and a lot of smaller, non-controversial items – or items that would be non-controversial in a different world, like “Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health” or “Nominate an ATF director.”
Link

Although it IS a lot of fun watching far-right Rethugs melt down over them, even if they don't exist.

With so much of the right in full-tilt freakout over Obama’s modest moves, it’s crucial to describe them correctly, as Fried did: Mostly, they’re an exercise in using the “bully pulpit,” in the words of Republican Teddy Roosevelt. Who probably wouldn’t be a Republican today.

Originally posted to The Baculum King on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:19 PM PST.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hey (5+ / 0-)

    What kind of quiz is it if you give the answer:)

    Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?

    by jsfox on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:22:37 PM PST

  •  Add it to the list of non-existent factors the GOP (4+ / 0-)

    freaks out about:

    - Obama's birth location (#1 current conspiracy, 65% of GOP believes the President is hiding something, out-paces 911 truthers by a royal mile)

    - The President is a communist.

    - The President is a monarch.

    - The President is a Muslim.

    - Death Panels. Do you even need a link?

    Do I even need to go on?

    collards, meat, butter, sourdough, eggs, cheese, raw milk

    by Tirge Caps on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:41:31 PM PST

  •  Lots of "corrections" in order then (5+ / 0-)

    While this Slate piece start out with your definition

    NBC News flags one of the 23 executive actions taken by President Obama this afternoon as part of his push for stricter gun control in the United States
    it ends with
    Obama's executive order, however, should bring an end to those fears.
    At Rolling Stone
    In his renewed push for gun control, President Obama released 23 executive orders to reduce gun violence this morning.
    http://www.rollingstone.com/...

    Over at MSNBC

    President Obama signed a 23-point gun control order on Wednesday
    http://tv.msnbc.com/...

    And WaPo

    the package of proposals is expected to include a series of executive orders.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    Dang, so much for those of us who had expectations about Obama as King, or Emperor, or whatever we've been threatened with.

    (Good catch TBK - quality stuff, as usual)

    "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:54:28 PM PST

  •  The difference slides right past DK folks. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DavidMS, Texas Lefty

    Executive actions, executive orders, they're still stuff the executive is doing! Didn't you see? He signed those papers right there on camera! How dare you say he didn't sign any orders, are you blind? Whee! Where are we going, and what's with this handbasket?

    ...

    For example, take that other diary that claims that states can't make their own internal laws in opposition to the federal statutes... It slides right past them that when the issue involves something that is not enumerated in the body or in the amendments, that is when the tenth amendment inserts the state law as dominant over federal statute.

    Ban liquor even if a state says it's cool like kool aid? A statute wouldn't have the strength to overcome the tenth amendment's mechanism of giving preference to state law. Gotta escalate the ban up to the constitutional level, by making it an actual amendment. THEN the supremacy clause asserts that the federal ban on liquor supercedes a state's happy hour laws.

    Same thing here. The power of a federal statute to require NICS checks for every transfer is limited by virtue of the combination of two things: That second amendment and that tenth amendment that places state gun law as just behind the 2A but just ahead of federal statute. That's how we get the result of a memo offering guidance on how FFL can do the background check for a private sale.... Yeah... "guidance" and "can" is a far cry from "Official Procedure" and "Must".

    I think we're seeing the tenth in action in the medical marijuana / legalization / deciminialization process as well. There's nothing in the body or amendments of the constitution about prohibiting pot. And the tenth declares that powers not given to the federal level belong to the states. So the states that are effectively stating in legislation that they are taking control over their power to legislate the mary jane... Well they aren't getting much flack from the DEA. That's the tenth in action, dude.

    It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not gun control, it's people care.

    by JayFromPA on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 06:39:03 PM PST

    •  Um, no (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Citizen, exterris

      If a state law is in conflict with a federal law (a valid federal law, within the power of the federal government to legislate), the federal  law trumps conflicting state law. So says the Constitution's Supremacy Clause.  

      Go read the 10th Amendment again. You'll see pretty quickly that there is absolutely nothing in there that suggests state law can supersede federal law.

      The feds certainly could continue to bust people in Colorado and Oregon for marijuana possession. It's still a federal crime. The Obama Administration is just choosing not to.

      •  10th Amendment (0+ / 0-)

        If a state believes that a federal law runs afoul of the 10th Amendment, they can go to court, but they can't simply ignore federal law based on that belief.

        The feds certainly could continue to bust people in Colorado and Oregon for marijuana possession. It's still a federal crime. The Obama Administration is just choosing not to.
        In the case of marijuana, the states are basically saying "It's your law, you enforce it." they can't prevent the enforcement of federal law, but they can decline to use state law enforcement to enforce it.

        The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

        by A Citizen on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 08:26:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Simply ignore? No. (0+ / 0-)

          But they can pass their own laws.

          Why doesn't this work for the right wingers in the case of abortion? Because of the penumbra of privacy seen in the constitutional level of the law. Remember that 'abortion' sprang from the ruling of rights to self bodily privacy.

          Hence, the ruling of privacy is in the Constitution/Amendments major league, and the tenth protects it's supremacy, while the statutes are bumped down by the tenth by it placing state laws above the statutes.

          In descending order....
          Constitution and Amendments.
          State laws (if the power isn't mentioned above, and cannot violate the above)
          Federal Statutes etc (If the power isn't mentioned above, and cannot violate the above)

          Basically, it goes like "The constitution and amendments are the law of the land, and if it isn't mentioned there then the states have first say, and if it still isn't mentioned then the federal statutes have their way."

          In this way, the constitution and amendments are still the law of the land, the different regions of the country have their particular laws as long as they don't violate what is specifically put forth by the constitution / amendments, and then the federal statutes and ordinances pull grunt level cleanup duty at the bottom of the heap.

          Examples...
          Slavery was outlawed in an amendment, and thus used the supremacy clause to be enforceable as the law of the land.

          The federal statutes of DC violated the higher-priority constitution / amendments, and thus was struck down.
          The state level "bear arms" ban in illinois violated the higher priority constitution / amendments, and was thus struck down.

          It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not gun control, it's people care.

          by JayFromPA on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:00:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, again, no (0+ / 0-)

            State laws do not take precedence over valid federal laws. That's what the Supremacy Clause establishes.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            •  Your source supports me. (0+ / 0-)

              Let me get this one question out of the way first.
              Do you think I am making a blanket statement?
              It appears to me that you are making blanket statements, and that leads me to think that you believe I am also making blanket statements.
              I am making a more nuanced conditional statement.

              On to the nuanced CONDITIONAL statement, that is supported by your very link!

              If we can cite wikipedia, then according to
              http://en.wikipedia.org/...
              we get the quote

              The Tenth Amendment confirms its federal characteristics.
              What are those federal characteristics?

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...
              Gives us this

              Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant (Latin: foedus, covenant) with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units (such as states or provinces). Federalism is a system based upon democratic rules and institutions in which the power to govern is shared between national and provincial/state governments, creating what is often called a federation. Proponents are often called federalists.
              It is this sharing of power that is enacted by the tenth amendment. It is this division of sovereignty to which I point.

              And furthermore, the supremacy clause wiki page itself supports my contention that there are limits beyond which the federal government does not have constitutional power:
              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              The Supremacy Clause only applies if Congress is acting in pursuit of its constitutionally authorized powers. Federal laws are valid and are supreme, so long as those laws were adopted in pursuance of—that is, consistent with—the Constitution.
              When the congress places a statute on the books of the US Code that falls outside of it's constitutionally authorized powers, that statute does not have supremacy over state laws.

              And here's an example of a state law being upheld in the face of national interests, straight from the wiki page about the supremacy clause:

              The State of Montana had imposed a 30 percent tax on most sub-bituminous coal mined there. The Commonwealth Edison Company and other utility companies argued, in part, that the Montana tax "frustrated" the broad goals of the national energy policy. However, in the case of Commonwealth Edison Co. v. Montana, 453 U.S. 609 (1981), the Supreme Court disagreed. Any appeal to claims about "national policy", the Court said, were insufficient to overturn a State law under the Supremacy Clause unless "the nature of the regulated subject matter permits no other conclusion, or that the Congress has unmistakably so ordained".[4]

              It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not gun control, it's people care.

              by JayFromPA on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:36:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  By the way, that's check and mate. (0+ / 0-)

                It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not gun control, it's people care.

                by JayFromPA on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:36:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  But the statute is placed lower in precedence (0+ / 0-)

        by the tenth amendment.

        The tenth is a tricky bastard. It only kicks in for those powers not delegated to the federal level BY THE CONSTITUTION. That is a crucial bit, as the anti-marijuana and gun-control laws do not reside in the penthouse "Constitution Suite".

        The anti-marijuana statutes and gun-control statutes reside on a lower floor.

        And the tenth amendment relegates powers that aren't from the Top Floor Constitution Suite to a status just underneath the states. "are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people".

        The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
        See that? It says the powers that are NOT given to the Fed Govt by the constitution are reserved to the states... and the wording is clunky but that the powers prohibited to be held by the states are reserved to the people.

        Notice nothing about statutory powers or federal ordinances or the US code being mentioned. It's a scenario of "I got dibs".

        Powers not delegated to the federal government - the states have first dibs on those.

        I'm not sure what falls under this half, but the powers that are prohibited to be held by the states - the people have first dibs on those.

        And it's worth pointing out that the supremacy clause predates the amendment, so the amendment came along after the clause and modifies it. Basically, it could be characterized in the dialog "Yeah, federal is the law of the land, but we're going to add on that it's the constitution part that can only be changed via the amendment process that is supreme, then comes the state laws, and THEN federal laws can fill in the gaps of whatever is left"

        It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not gun control, it's people care.

        by JayFromPA on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 10:28:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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