The New Con: Law Professors for Executive Amnesty - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The New Con: Law Professors for Executive Amnesty

Call it a White House con game. The Obama administration is rolling out a list of law professors in support of the president’s executive order giving amnesty to five million illegal immigrants. The Hill reports:

The White House worked to bolster the legal case for President Obama’s immigration action Thursday night, releasing a letter from a group of prominent legal scholars arguing that the president’s moves were within his legal authorities.

The group included three law professors from the University of Chicago — where the president taught constitutional law before his election — as well as Columbia University President Lee Bollinger and renowned Harvard constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe.

“While we differ among ourselves on many issues relating to Presidential power and immigration policy, we are all of the view that these actions are lawful,” the professors write. “They are exercises of prosecutorial discretion that are consistent with governing law and with the policies that Congress has expressed in the statutes that it has enacted.”

In their letter the group begins by describing themselves as “law professors and lawyers who teach, study, and practice constitutional law and related subjects.” It all sounds so normal, yes? Just a bunch of disinterested law profs putting their objective, deeply scholarly opinions out there about a major issue involving the law. 

Well, no. Of the ten law professors listed, Adam Cox of NYU; Walter Dellinger of Duke University; Gillian Metzger of Columbia; Eric Posner, Geoffrey Stone, and David A. Strauss of the University of Chicago; and Laurence Tribe of Harvard are all thorough-going liberals who have contributed to the campaigns of Barack Obama or other Democrats such as Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren. Which is to say, seven of the ten are well known partisans. An eighth, Yale’s Harold Koh, was a legal adviser for the Obama State Department. A ninth, Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia, hosted an Obama inaugural party at his university, Obama’s alma mater.

In other words? What the White House has done here is trot out a bunch of Democratic partisans to pretend that they are just your average thoughtful law professors looking objectively at President Obama’s executive order. And surprise! Guess what they discover?

We do believe, however, that they [the Obama executive actions] are within the power of the Executive Branch and that they represent a lawful exercise of the President’s authority.

What we have are incidents of deliberate, willful deceit. Recall that a few days before my piece on the Truman Project, a group of Democratic partisans passing themselves off as representative of veterans, the Washington Free Beacon reported that the group had “long ago stopped being a real policy shop and instead became a PR machine for the Obama administration’s foreign policy.”

Now, on an entirely different issue, the exact same pattern pops up again. This time with the widely ballyhooed letter by supposedly disinterested legal scholars swearing up and down that the president did nothing wrong, constitutionally speaking. Scholars who, with a little checking (hat tip here to Fox’s Trace Gallagher, who initially brought out the Democratic ties on Megyn Kelly’s show) are revealed to be—just like those Truman Project veterans—solid liberal Democrats. Whatever else these law professors are, disinterested and objective is not it.

What do these two incidents say about the Obama White House? All the way back in 2009 in this space it was observed that the then-new Obama White House seemed to have a problem telling the truth. The example in the day was then-White House Communications Director Linda Douglass, a former correspondent for ABC News. In the middle of the controversy over the passage of what would become Obamacare, Douglass put together a video package of President Obama saying things like “If you have insurance that you like then you will be able to keep that insurance….Nobody is trying to change what works in the system.”

At the time, I noted there was video from before the Obama presidency in which the then-Senator is shown explicitly saying to a labor union audience: “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care plan…that’s what I’d like to see.” And also a tape of Senator Obama saying: “I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There’s going to be, potentially, some transition process: I can envision a decade out, or 15 years out, or 20 years out.” 

It was nothing less than a deliberate attempt to deceive the American people. Something we now know to be true in the case of the infamous Jonathan Gruber, too.

Now this letter from these law professors who were deliberately not identified as being liberals illustrates yet again that at the core of the American Left is a complete willingness to say and do anything to achieve its ends. After six years of this, the American people have caught on to this pattern of deceit. And the results came pouring in during this last midterm election. It turns out that—shocker—the American people aren’t so stupid after all. It may have taken a while to find the truth in the haze of all that fawning media coverage of Mr. Obama. But it’s safe to say, when the truth outs, the American people know a con game when they see it.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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