People of good faith can clearly disagree on where the line is drawn over the failure to fully enforce federal laws. There is ample room given to a president in setting priorities in the enforcement of laws. A president is not required to enforce all laws equally or dedicate the same resources to every federal program. Even with this ample allowance, however, I believe that President Barack Obama has crossed the constitutional line between discretionary enforcement and defiance of federal law.
—Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law, George Washington University
The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws, “Committee on the Judiciary United States House of Representatives, December 3, 2013.
The President has a personal obligation to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” The word “faithfully” is, perhaps, a broad grant of discretion, but it is also a real and important constraint. The President cannot suspend laws altogether. He cannot favor unenacted bills over duly enacted laws. And he cannot discriminate on the basis of politics in his execution of the laws. The President has crossed all three of these lines.
—Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center and Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, The Cato Institute, “The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws,” Committee on the Judiciary United States House of Representatives, December 3, 2013. (HT: LegalInsurrection)