How has the Obama administration violated the Constitution?

It's a simple question. I just want one example - any example will do. I'll even allow things that Obama has not yet done but has publicly advocated. I am asking because people CONSTANTLY assert without ANY justification that Obama is undermining the bill of rights and outlawing freedom. So you all should have no trouble giving me lots of examples.

Oh, just one little preempt: before you start going on about the 10th amendment, check out the "general welfare" clause of article I section 8 as well as Alexander Hamilton's interpretation of it in the Federalist Papers (1787). I would also refer you to the Supreme Court's interpretation of the general welfare clause in US v. Butler (1936) and South Dakota v. Dole (1987). I'm sure you have just delightful ideas about the powers granted to Congress by the Constitution, but just to warn you I'm probably going to side with one of the founding father's own commentary as well as 70 years of legal precedent.


First accusation: no less than three people asserted the Obama as violated, or at least advocated the violation of, the first two amendments. Yet not one example of a specific act which violated either amendment was provided between the three of you. Anyone care to elaborate? I just want one example. That's all.

Update 2:

Second accusation: Obama is not an American citizen. I recall the Obama campaign releasing a copy of his birth certificate in 2007 demonstrating that he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. I am aware of several lawsuits questioning the validity of that document, but to the best of my knowledge none of them have made it past any level of the court system.

Update 3:

Third accusation: Obama waived prosecution of a crime against the United States. I have to admit I don't know what you are actually referring to, but even granting your assertion I'm not sure I see anything constitutional. The presidents oath of office says:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

So as long as the president's actions "preserve, protect, and defend" the Constitution, there is no problem - even if it means he must from time to time "Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States" as he is authorized to do by Article II Section 2.

Update 4:

Fourth accusation: Obama holds a foreign office. The relevant part of Article I Section 9 says:

"And no Person holding any Office... shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State."

There are two key ideas here. First, the office accepted must be presented by a king, prince, or foreign state. The legal structure of the UN is best described as a treaty (a slight oversimplification), which the president is granted the authority to draft and sign according to Article II Section 2. It is certainly not a foreign state. Second, the words "without Consent of the Congress" are crucial - are you certain that Obama did not derive the authority to chair the UN security council from a treaty or agreement approved by Congress?

Update 5:

Fifth Accusation: health care reform is unconstitutional. As I explained in my preempt, Congress is granted the authority to levy taxes to support programs which secure the general welfare of the United States by Article I Section 8. Your "taxation without representation" argument, while not related to the constitutionality of health care reform, is also unfounded: you had a chance to vote for a member of the House of Representatives, a member of the Senate, and the President (assuming you are an adult US citizen). Thus it is taxation WITH representation.

Update 6:

So you guys are 0 for 5. This isn't relevant, but I should point out that preemptively attacking another country is NOT unconstitutional. So I guess people don't read the Constitution on either side. Sigh.

Update 7:


Your first accusation is actually quite a good one, and I am forced into the awkward position of defending the constitutionality of the action without defending the action itself. The memo was sent by the CMS to Humana, a private insurance company which provides health insurance services via medicare. This means that Humana contracts with and receives federal funds from the CMS and, in principle, has the authority to communicate with medicare participants as official representatives of medicare. However, these official communications are subject to Humana's contract with the federal government and hence are not protected speech, just as the first amendment does not permit an employee who has signed a vow of secrecy to divulge corporate secrets. So, unfortunately, the gag order is constitutional. But I can't claim to support it - I complained about similar gag orders issued by the Bush administration pertaining to climate change, the Patriot Act, and war profiteering.

Update 8:

2nd Amendment accusation:

The second amendment requires a lot of careful interpretation. The framers' intent can be clarified by looking at the original version of the second amendment:

"A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms."

The second amendment, like similar provisions in English common law, was written to prevent the government from disarming the people to the point where they could no longer defend themselves or mount credible opposition to government power. Indeed, the Supreme Court until D.C. v. Heller (2008) interpreted the second amendment as a collective rather than an individual right held by the people. Thus gun control is perfectly constitutional so long it does not cripple the peoples' ability to provide common defense.

Update 9:

In D.C. v. Heller, the Second Amendment was officially interpreted as an individual right, largely contrary to previous interpretations. But even this more progressive interpretation came with a caveat:

"Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."

Update 10:

10th Amendment accusation: I already addressed this. The general welfare clause in Article I section 8 gives Congress the authority to pass health care reform legislation.

If we're going to call names and take cheap shots: the problem with conservatives and the Constitution is that most of them haven't actually read it, and those who do read it only do so to justify what they already believe.

12 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    The powers of the federal government ar clearly spelled out in the constitution, and this has been clearly stated by the writers of the constitution. Obama is CLEARLY not the first person to violate this, but he is marching all ove it.

    The problem with liberals is that they hate the constitution and try to find their way around it instead of actually reading it and listening to the writings and words of those that actually wrote it. liberals try to warp the meaning of the "general welfare" while ignoring the interpretation of that phrase as clearly explained by James Madison (the father of the constitution)

    James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, elaborated upon this limitation in a letter to James Robertson:

    With respect to the two words "general welfare," I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators. If the words obtained so readily a place in the "Articles of Confederation," and received so little notice in their admission into the present Constitution, and retained for so long a time a silent place in both, the fairest explanation is, that the words, in the alternative of meaning nothing or meaning everything, had the former meaning taken for granted

    "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."

    --Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Albert Gallatin, 1817

    I guess your liberal constitution teacher conveniently forgot to mention that just as you I am sure do not mention that to your students.

    If you pay attention to the words of ALL of the founding fathers, it was their intentions to allow us to own and have guns, and the main reason they cited was to keep politicians scared of revolt. Not just to hunt or anything like that.

    The Constitution is not a obsticle to our freedoms, it is a guarantee, and we have the right to Private property, which you are trying to steal, and there is not right to health care, which you are trying to distort.

    "Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."

    --James Madison

    "When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."

    -- Benjamin Franklin

    That the principle and construction contended for by sundry of the state legislatures, that the general government is the exclusive judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it, stop nothing short of despotism; since the discretion of those who administer the government, and not the constitution, would be the measure of their powers:

    That the several states who formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and that a nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under colour of that instrument, is the rightful remedy.

    -- Thomas Jefferson, 1799

    I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power not longer susceptible of any definition."

    -- Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, February 15, 1791

    As far as your Nazi Comment goes:

    There were other branches of Government in the German system as well, but Hitler went around them by establishing the Third Reich in a similar way that Obama is doing with the Czars.

    Obama may not want to kill the jews but if you actually study history and what hitler stood for, their political philosophies are almost exactly alike really. They have a VERY similar political pholosophy.

    Agent Orange:

    Byresponsible for the death of are you referring to the wars that a majority of democrats voted for and supported until one day they abandoned the troops and decided that they would do everything they could to make us loose and see how many American Soildiers could be killed by fighting a PC war, which should be an oxymoron really.

    Esentually you aare whining because you are a hypocrite and you loved it when they treated Bush like that, but you are a whiner when it happens to Obama. Grow up you stooge.

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  • 1 decade ago

    1. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    ---"In a memo to private health insurers from a senior official at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) the Obama administration issued a decree ordering them to stop informing Medicare beneficiaries that health reform legislation before Congress could hurt them and curtail their benefits if enacted. The memo went on to say that the government might take legal action against insurers that are mobilizing opposition to the legislation."

    2. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    ---FactCheck: Yes, Obama endorsed Illinois handgun ban

    ---2000: cosponsored bill to limit purchases to 1 gun per month

    ---Ban semi-automatics, and more possession restrictions

    ---"I think there is an individual right to bear arms, but it's subject to commonsense regulation."

    10."The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    ----Government Healthcare

    The problem with liberals and the Constitution is, there are no if's, and's, or but's about it. The founding fathers were smart people, you can't "decipher" any hidden meanings in what they wrote. What you see is what you get.

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  • 4 years ago

    Fix Noiz or right wingers thinks the first amendment only applies to them. Fix Noiz is nothing but a hate machine and TV ad for right wingers. They're not legit news at least the other Networks really try to show both side. Fix Noiz is the the right and then they paid people to pretend to be liberals to come on their show to agree with them. %

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  • 1 decade ago

    To violate his oath of office and the constitution doesn't mean he has to accomplish such a violation but to simply make an attempt. The attempt to limit free speech, the attempt to stop our ownership of weapons, to render aid to our enemies and to simply make an attempt to attempt. The attempt to undermine the constitution is his gravest deed and that should already have him in the sights of congress but with the corrupt individuals homesteading in Washington it will now be upon the people of this country to prosecute this individual you refer to as president.

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  • 6 years ago

    I lost my whole comment. will post it later because it will take a while to rewrite Obama's violations of the constitution.

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  • 1 decade ago

    He violated article 1 section 9 last month.

    I'm sure you're familiar.

    No president can be president and another title from another foreign state at the same time.

    He chaired the head of the U.N. security Council last month and will be reappointed in 16 months...they rotate control of that foriegn body in 1 month cycles.

    Source(s): This is treason....but shhhhh!!! They'll hear you.
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    For one he's not even American, he's a Kenyan African! He's overstepped his limits of government in GM, he's trying to push a socialist health care package on us and may I say, without our consent, which may I also say is one of the reasons we split from England in the first place, Taxation without Representation!If George Washington, Patrick Henry, or Paul Revere could see America 2009, they'd roll over in their grave!

    • It always amazes how many of you lying jerks that are still out there. Smells like Tea Bagger rhetoric.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago's "one" ! "Barry" has committed Constitutional TREASON ! ...he has violated his oath of office by giving aid and comfort to an enemy of the United States !

    Barry, gave the MURDERER of 17 U.S. Navy Sailors who were MURDERED on the USS Cole a "pass" from being prosecuted for that crime !

    (that Un-Constitutional act clearly violated his oath of office)... "to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic" !!!!!

    Barry is a LIAR, obfuscator and Constitutional abuser (just for starters)

    ...want some more...? I've got several more !

    Source(s): Torin: ...I see you are still suffering from Bush derangment syndrome !
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  • I dont know to much about the subject but I do know that he's working on decreasing our boundaries of what we can say.[1st amendment].and he wants to completley get rid of the 2nd amendment

    the lost duchman:maybe you should read my first 2 amendments:


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  • 1 decade ago

    Maybe you should read the first two amendments again

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