Senator Ted Cruz has published the “The Legal Limit Report, No. 4,” documenting the Obama administration’s lawless abuses of power. Each is footnoted. See the footnotes and the actual report here. Also below, see snippets of Reports 1, 2 and 3. All emphasis below is mine. (notice the number of states this administration has or is suing – disgraceful!)
Governing by Executive Fiat
1. Disregarded 1996 welfare reform law in granting broad work waivers for work requirements of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
2. Implemented portions of the DREAM Act, which Congress rejected, by executive action.
3. Ended some terror asylum restrictions, by allowing asylum for people who provided only “insignificant” or “limited” material support of terrorists.
4. Allowed immigrants in the U.S. illegally, who are relatives of military troops and veterans, to stay in the country and get legal status.
5. Extended federal marriage benefits by recognizing, under federal law, same-sex marriages created in a state that allows same-sex marriage even if the couple is living in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.
6. Recognized same-sex marriage in Utah, even though the Supreme Court stayed the court order recognizing same-sex marriage in Utah and Utah said it would not recognize same-sex marriages performed before the stay.
7. Refused to prosecute violation of drug laws with certain mandatory minimums.
8. Issued signing statements, refusing to enforce parts of congressional-enacted statutes.
9. Illegally refused to act on Yucca Mountain’s application to become a nuclear waste repository.
1. Falsely portrayed the Benghazi terrorist attack as a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim YouTube video, and then lied about the White House’s involvement.
2. Illegally revealed the existence of sealed indictments in the Benghazi investigation.
3. Failed to enforce the Magnitsky Act as required by law, by not adding Russian human rights abusers to a list of people not permitted to travel to or do business in the U.S.
4. Killed four Americans overseas in counterterrorism operations without judicial process.
5. Continued to give Egypt aid after the military took over its government, even though federal law prohibits aid to Egypt in the event of a coup.
1. Granted a “hardship” exemption from the individual mandate for people whose health plans were canceled because their plans weren’t Obamacare compliant.
2. Delayed the individual mandate for two years.
3. Allowed individuals to buy health insurance plans in 2014 that did not comply with Obamacare. Extended this delay until 2016—past the mid-term elections.
4. Extended the deadline to enroll in Obamacare.
5. Illegally granted businesses a waiver from Obamacare’s employer mandate. Twice.
6. Illegally continued the Obamacare employer contribution for congressional staffs.
7. Illegally delayed the Obamacare caps on out-of-pocket healthcare payments.
8. Illegally delayed Obamacare verification of eligibility for healthcare subsidies.
9. Illegally required people to violate their faith via the Obamacare contraception mandate.
10. As of May 2011, over 50% of Obamacare waiver beneficiaries were union members (who account for less than 12% of the American work force).
1. Ordered Boeing to fire 1,000 employees in South Carolina and shut down a new factory because it was non-union.
2. Implemented a moratorium on offshore drilling after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill without statutory authority, and continued to enact new versions after federal courts
repeatedly invalidated the moratorium.
3. Treated secured creditors worse than unsecured creditors in the Chrysler bankruptcy.
4. Terminated the pensions of 20,000 non-union Delphi employees in the GM bankruptcy.
5. Had SWAT teams raid a Gibson guitar factory and seize property, on the purported basis that Gibson had broken India’s environmental laws—but no charges were filed.
6. Government agencies are engaging in “Operation Choke Point,” where the government asks banks to “choke off” access to financial services for customers engaging in conduct
the Administration does not like—such as “ammunition sales.”
Executive Nominees and Personnel
1. Made illegal “recess” appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board when Congress wasn’t in recess. Ignored the rulings of
three federal courts of appeals that held those nominations unconstitutional
2. Appointed czars to oversee federal policy specifically because czars do not require Senate confirmation, earning criticism from stalwart Democrats such as West Virginia Sen.
Robert Byrd and Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold.
3. As of January 2012, 36 of the President’s executive office staff owed $833,970 in back taxes.
4. As of 2011, 311,566 federal employees or retirees owed $3.5 billion in taxes.
Free Speech and Privacy
1. Illegally targeted conservative groups for heightened IRS scrutiny.
2. Circumvented the Freedom of Information Act, by requiring White House Counsel review of all documents to be released under the Freedom of Information Act that the Administration believed pertained to “White House equities”—and then delayed in producing many of these documents by FOIA’s statutory deadline, or didn’t produce them at all.
3. Got secret permission from the FISA Court to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and emails, permitting the NSA to
search American’s communications in its databases.
4. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking to monitor about 80% of U.S. credit card transactions.
5. Targeted Fox News reporter James Rosen by falsely labeling him a possible “co-conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a new leak.
6. Secretly obtained phone records from staff at the Associated Press.
7. Had meetings with lobbyists in coffee shops near White House to avoid disclosure requirements.
Other Lawless Acts
1. Aided drug cartels instead of enforcing immigration laws—as found by a federal judge. Border Patrol agents, multiple times, knowingly helped smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.; “the DHS is encouraging parents to seriously jeopardize the safety of their children.”
2. Illegally sold thousands of guns to criminals, in the operation known as Fast and Furious, and then refused to comply with congressional subpoenas about the operation.
3. Dismissed charges filed by Bush Administration against New Black Panther Party members who were videotaped intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling station during the 2008 election.
4. Argued for expansive federal powers in the Supreme Court, which has rejected the Administration’s arguments unanimously 9 times since January 2012.
5. Sued Louisiana to stop school vouchers and keep low-income minorities trapped in failing schools.
6. Threatened to arrest military priests for practicing their faith during the partial government shutdown.
7. Muzzled the speech of military chaplains.
8. Sued fire departments saying their multiple-choice, open-book written employment tests were racially discriminatory.
9. Gave 23,994 tax refunds worth more than $46 million to aliens here illegally using the same address in Atlanta, GA.
Other Abuses of Power
1. Released a mentally ill Guantanamo detainee, who had been a high-risk al Qaeda fighter in jihad combat since the 1980s.
2. Backed release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.
3. President Obama told NASA administrator to “find a way to reach out to the Muslim world.”
4. Claimed the Fort Hood shooting was “workplace violence” rather than terrorism.
5. Signed a stimulus bill that spent money on bonuses for AIG executives, and then acted shocked and outraged at the bonuses.
6. Gave $535 million to Solyndra, which went bankrupt; Solyndra shareholders and officials made substantial donations to Obama’s campaign.
7. Reneged on a campaign promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term in office.
8. Increased the national debt more in one term than President Bush did in two terms.
9. Extended mortgage assistance to people who bought multiple homes during the housing bubble.
10. Proposed rules that would have decimated family farms, by prohibiting children under 18 from doing many forms of farm work.
11. Former “safe schools czar” has written about his past drug abuse and advocated promoting homosexuality in schools.
12. Nominated Timothy Geithner—who had significant tax issues —to head the Treasury Department, which enforces tax laws.
13. Reneged on campaign promise to broadcast healthcare reform negotiations on C-SPAN.
14. Reneged on a campaign promise to wait five days before signing any non-emergency bill (at least 10 times during first 3 months in office).
15. Unilaterally, increased the minimum wage for federal contract workers from $7.25 to $10.10, via executive order.
16. Cancelled all White House tours after sequestration—purportedly saving $18,000 per week—even though President Obama had spent more than $1 million in tax money to
golf with Tiger Woods one weekend a few weeks before.
17. Adopted pro-union “ambush election” rules.
18. Pressured Ford to pull an anti-auto-bailout TV ad.
19. Actively, aided in George Zimmerman protests.
20. Tried to seize a privately owned motel when guests used illegal drugs at the motel.
21. Shut down the Amber Alert website, while keeping up Let’s Move website, during the partial government shutdown.
22. Gave supervised release to a convicted criminal (an alien here illegally) who later killed a nun in a DUI.
23. Shut down an Amish farm for selling fresh unpasteurized milk across state lines.
24. Spent $7 million per household in “stimulus funds” to connect a few Montana households to the Internet.
25. Spent $205,075 in “stimulus” funds to relocate a shrub that sells for $16.
26. Fired an inspector general after investigating an $850,000 AmeriCorps grant received by a nonprofit run by former NBA star and Obama supporter Kevin Johnson (now mayor of
If the Department of Justice had won these cases [below], the federal government would be able to electronically track all of our movements, fine us without a fair hearing, dictate who churches choose as ministers, displace state laws based on the President’s whims, bring debilitating lawsuits against individuals based on events that occurred years ago, and destroy a person’s private property without just compensation.
If Obama’s Department of Justice were successful in its cases [see summaries here], the federal government would have the power to:
• Attach a GPS to a citizen’s vehicle to monitor his movements, without having any cause to believe that person committed a crime (United States v. Jones);
• Deprive landowners of the right to challenge potential government fines as high as $75,000 per day and eliminate their ability to have a hearing to challenge those fines (Sackett v. EPA);
• Interfere with a church’s selection of its own ministers (Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC);
• Override state law whenever the President desires (Arizona v. United States);
• Dramatically extend statutes of limitations to impose penalties for acts committed decades ago (Gabelli v. SEC);
• Destroy private property without paying just compensation (Arkansas Fish & Game Commission v. United States);
• Impose double income taxation (PPL Corp. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue);
• Limit a property owner’s constitutional defenses (Horne v. USDA); and
• Drastically expand federal criminal law (Sekhar v. United States).
1. Obamacare’s conditions on Medicaid funding are unconstitutional. NFIB v. Sebelius, 132 S. Ct. 2566 (2012).
2. The Department of Justice imposed unconstitutional preclearance on Texas’s redistricting plans. Texas v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2885 (2013).
3. The Department of Interior imposed an unlawful moratorium on offshore drilling. Texas v. U.S. Dep’t of Interior, No. 2:10-cv-02949 (E.D. La.).
4. Obama Administration’s EPA tried to expand its power by regulating greenhouse gases. Texas v. EPA, No. 12-1269 (U.S. Supreme Court).
5. The Department of Education illegally withheld from Texas $830 million in educational funding. Texas v. U.S. Dep’t of Educ., No. 10-60793 (5th Cir.).
6. EPA tried to override Texas’s program for incentivizing facilities to voluntarily comply with air permitting regulations. Texas v. EPA, 690 F.3d 670 (5th Cir. 2012).
7. EPA unlawfully blocked Texas’s air permitting program.
Luminant Generation Co. v. EPA, 675 F.3d 917 & 490 F. App’x 657 (5th Cir. 2012).
8. EPA illegally imposed a cross-state air pollution rule.
EPA v. EME Homer City Generation L.P., No. 12-1182 (U.S. Supreme Court).
9. Department of Commerce agency unlawfully promulgated an “emergency” fishing rule in the Gulf of Mexico. Texas v. Crabtree, 2013 WL 2407674 (S.D. Tex. 2013).
10. Federal energy agency illegally ordered pipelines to report intrastate business activities. Tex. Pipeline Ass’n v. FERC, 661 F.3d 258 (5th Cir. 2011).
These ten cases will not be the final chapter in the Obama Administration’s assault on Texas. Texas has additional lawsuits pending against this Administration, including:
• A challenge to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s unlawful hiring guidelines that prevent employers, like Texas, from categorically excluding convicted
felons from employment (Texas v. EEOC, No. 5:13-cv-0255-C (N.D. Tex.));
• A lawsuit to require EPA to designate areas of the country as complying with national air quality standards, after EPA missed the deadlines for doing so under the Clean Air Act (North Dakota v. EPA, No. 1:13-cv-00109-CSM (D.N.D.));
• An action brought by 12 States against EPA, seeking to gain access under the Freedom of Information Act to documents between EPA officials and environmental groups (Oklahoma v. EPA, No. 5:2013-cv-00726 (W.D. Okla.));
• A challenge to Title II of Dodd-Frank, which gives the Treasury Secretary and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation unilateral authority to take over and liquidate large financial institutions (State Nat’l Bank of Big Spring v. Lew, No. 1:12-cv-01032 (D.D.C.)—notice of appeal filed with D.C. Cir.); and
• A case challenging EPA’s designation of Wise County as an ozone non-attainment area (Texas v. EPA, No. 12-1316 (D.C. Cir.)).
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