The rule of law isn’t open to interpretation

Why enforce the law if you can just ignore it? That seems to be Attorney General Eric Holder’s position these days.  During a hearing earlier this week in the House Judiciary Committee, Holder – the one man responsible for enforcing the laws of the United States – told lawmakers that he has a “vast amount” of discretion in how the Department of Justice prosecutes laws violations.

During the hearing, committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte asked Holder if he believed there are limits to the administration’s prosecutorial discretion. Here’s Holder’s response, in full:

There is a vast amount of discretion that a president has – and more specifically that an attorney general has. But that discretion has to be used in an appropriate way so that you’re acting consistent with the aims of the statute but at the same time making sure that you are acting in a way that is consistent with our values, consistent with the Constitute, and protecting the American people.

It’s easy to point fingers at Holder. Sadly, ignoring the rule of law is a common theme in the Obama Administration, made possible by the president himself. Again and again, Obama and members of his administration ignore the law in order to implement a progressive agenda.

Consider how many times the president unilaterally delayed the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act. When Congress originally passed the law, an effective date was put in place. Delaying the date without Congressional oversight is tantamount to ignoring Congressional authority to pass laws altogether. But examples are not limited to Obamacare.

Remember the president’s recess appointments in 2012? That action so blatantly flouted existing law, that the case had to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. In other instances, the president has chosen to ignore the law simply because it doesn’t fit his liberal philosophy. Drug laws, illegal immigration, and the Defense of Marriage Act, all have been circumvented it by issuing an executive order.

Part of the president’s job description is to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Our entire system of government breaks down when one branch attempts to supersede the other.  Doing so not only violates the separation of powers, but it also breeds disrespect for the law and the Constitution. Eric Holder needs to prosecute law violations not because he wants to, but because it’s the law. Likewise, President Obama needs to execute the law. Otherwise, they should find new jobs.