by Andrew P. Napolitano, Lew Rockwell:
“Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.” – Justice Louis Brandeis (1856-1941)
Last week, this column chronicled the startling admissions of lying by White House senior adviser Ben Rhodes. Rhodes readily acknowledged to The New York Times that he lied to the public and to members of Congress during the negotiations that produced the recent Iranian nuclear deal so as to temper the “irrational” fear that some senators and representatives had of the mullahs who run the government in Iran.
He was asked — not subpoenaed — to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about his lying, and he refused to show up, claiming his lies were protected by executive privilege. Because he spoke publicly about this, he has no privilege, yet nothing further happened. The committee gave up the ghost.
Also last week, in a federal court in Brownsville, Texas, the government was caught lying again — this time by a federal judge. Here is the back story.
In 2012, President Barack Obama issued numerous executive orders directing the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to enforce a version of immigration law that the president himself had scripted after Congress declined to pass it.
The president crafted a path to permanent residence in the United States for undocumented immigrants who are the parents of children who were born here or are otherwise residents lawfully.
The president’s plan would add between 4 million and 5 million people as lawful residents. That would add to the financial burdens of the states where these folks reside because they are required by federal law to provide a social safety net — health care, education, safety, welfare — to all legal residents.
Hence, 26 states sued the federal government, arguing in effect that the president exceeded his constitutional powers when he issued his executive orders and that the immediate effect of their enforcement would be massive, unplanned, unfunded financial burdens on the states.
A federal judge agreed with the states and enjoined the president from enforcing his orders. During the course of the oral arguments in the case, the judge asked the lawyers from the Department of Justice who were representing the president whether the programs his executive orders established had yet begun. The lawyers replied that they had not.
On three more occasions, one orally in the same public courtroom and twice in written submissions to the court, the DOJ lawyers insisted that the president’s programs had not yet begun. In reliance upon those assertions, the states asked only for an injunction going forward, not for an injunction on any applications being processed by the feds, because they were told that none existed.
The government lawyers lied.
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