Obama Inauguration 2013: 7 Ways in Which the President Continues to Break His Presidential Oath
On Monday, President Obama will again take the presidential oath and swear to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
However, here are 7 ways that he will continue to break his solemn Oath and violate the Constitution:
1) Indefinite Detention of American Citizens without Trial:
In 2012, the president passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows him to put any American citizen behind bars indefinitely. Furthermore, the president can do this without trial and without notifying the prisoner (or their family) of their charge.
This directly violates the Sixth Amendment which states, "the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury … and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation … ”
2) Guantánamo Bay:
Aside from violating many human rights, holding prisoners at Guantánamo Bay detention camp is undoubtedly unconstitutional, again violating the Sixth Amendment. First, the Sixth Amendment recognizes the right to a "speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury," but Guantanamo prisoners are oftentimes given trials long after their arrest and without an impartial jury.
Even when cleared for release, prisoners are sometimes detained for years and allegedly tortured. But the worst part about Guantánamo is that the president promised to close the detention camp time and time again, but didn’t.
3) Warrantless Search and Seizure:
The Fourth Amendment states, that "The right of the people … against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause … particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized."
But in 2008, Obama signed an extension of warrantless wiretapping — via the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Then, in 2012, Obama signed an amendment to this bill that allows the government to intercept e-mails and other communications – again without a warrant.
The unconstitutionality of this act comes not only because a warrant is not given, but also because one no longer needs probable cause search one’s e-mail or phone records – both of which are contrary to the Fourth Amendment.
4) Domestic Drone Surveillance:
The president has overseen the beginning of a massive increase of Federal Aviation Administration power. In fact, the FAA estimates that there will be as many as 30,000 drones flying over the U.S. by 2020.
This may seem harmless enough, but this too violates the Fourth Amendment. These drones are allowed to film anything – they do not need a warrant to film and they do not need to film "particular" places or persons as per the Fourth Amendment so long as they have "reasonable suspicion" that a crime is being committed.
The EPA, for example, could view fertilizer as suspicious as it can be made for bomb making. That plant you're watering can be seen as marijuana – an illegal drug. And on the way to film your backyard, the EPA can film through your kitchen window and might even pick up some footage of your neighbor’s house. This is certainly not particular and ergo a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
5) Military Action in Libya:
The War Powers Resolution of 1973 allows the President to send U.S. armed forces into action without authorization of Congress .This effectively changes Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution which requires Congressional approval for any military action. Under the War Powers Resolution, the President may only send these forces into action for sixty days (with a further 30 day withdrawal period) without an authorization from Congress or a declaration of war.
But President Obama ordered engagement with Libyan forces for over sixty days without Congressional approval. Thus, he violated the War Powers Resolution and thereby the Constitution under Article 1, Section 8.
6) Ordered Death of a U.S. Citizen without Judicial Process:
In 2011, a U.S. citizen who was never charged with a crime was killed by a U.S. air strike in Yemen, far from an armed conflict zone, as was ordered by the president. This clearly violates the Sixth Amendment as this U.S. citizen was not allowed a trial nor was he charged with any crime. But he was killed.
As National Security Project Litigation Director Ben Wizner said, "if the Constitution means anything, it surely means that the President does not have unreviewable authority to summarily execute any American whom he concludes is an enemy of the state."
7) Gun Control:
Many people will disagree with me on this point, but here is why gun control is unconstitutional: "…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Note, the word "infringed" does not mean, "eliminated."
The President recently proposed a series of measures that infringe upon our right to bear arms via-background checks and even preventing the purchase of certain weapons and ammunition rounds.
The Second Amendment does not allow our government to do anything that will prevent a person from buying a weapon – including background checks or outlawing automatic weapons. These are certainly Second Amendment infringements.
I recognize that my argument falls apart when it comes to nuclear arms (even a conservative like myself would be fearful of a nuclear-capable neighbor), but my argument certainly applies to guns that do not have such destructive capabilities. As to where we conservatives are to draw the line is something that I am unsure of.
Thanks to the president, the federal government can now spy on us, infringe on our right to bear arms, indefinitely detain us without cause and even kill us – and none of these practices are likely to end in his second term.
The Constitution exists in part to prevent a tyrant from coming into power, and while I do not see the sitting president as that tyrant, his new use of presidential power makes me wonder: if a tyrant were to take the White House, would we still be able to defend against him?