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Republicans may hate Obamacare, but it's still the law of the land and the president is obliged to enforce it [Letter]

Laws and LegislationCourts and the JudiciaryJustice SystemBarack ObamaJohn BoehnerRepublican Party

Regarding your recent editorial on the folly of House Republicans' threat to impeach President Barack Obama, the real constitutional crisis is an unimpeachable president; House Speaker John Boehner is right to dismiss such talk as futile ("Impeachment lite," July 31).

Even U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts considers history more important. But at least restoring some balance is worth trying, not just for President Obama but for his successors, Republican and Democrat alike, who might be emboldened to push the boundary even further. That's what Mr. Boehner's lawsuit is really about.

Three key attributes have distinguished the United States as the safe harbor of the world: our language, our currency and most importantly, the certainty of our rule of law.

The decline of the first two is readily evident in our everyday lives and, therefore, has our attention. The last is more subtle and, therefore, not so evident, which makes it even more dangerous and with effects that, unlike the other two, may not be reversible.

That lack of understanding and, therefore, of immediate interest that is so important in politics is the risk Republicans are taking, particularly since the press and social media are using every means in their arsenals to cast the suit as nothing but a ploy unworthy of serious consideration.

But enough of us think otherwise to justify a hearing, as evidenced by the will of Congress expressed via a majority vote among our representatives. Furthermore, the president's threat to act unilaterally on immigration shows that Congress' inability to constrain his authority thus far in changing Obamacare has, in fact, created a slippery slope.

Although the Supreme Court has historically recognized presidents' implicit authority to reasonably implement laws, the cumulative impact of President Obama's unilateral changes to the Affordable Care Act has gone beyond that intent to the point of materially changing the law in a way whose timing suggests political motives.

The growing divisions, instability and disruptions to our lives resulting from uncertainty and a dangerous loss of faith in our government make it imperative that at this historic point in time we clarify and reaffirm the constitutional checks and balances that are essential to preserving our freedom.

That is what Mr. Boehner's suit is about. Although Obamacare is the vehicle, neither it nor immigration nor any other specific legislation are the real issue in question. As your editorial pointed out, many of the lawmakers who supported the lawsuit had voted repeatedly against Obamacare in the past. But it is nevertheless the law that the president swore faithfully to enforce.

Doude Glenn, Baltimore

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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