Wash. Times' Knight Relies On Falsehoods To Accuse Obama Of "Tear[ing] Up The Constitution"


In a September 16 Washington Times column headlined, "Obama tears up the Constitution," Robert Knight used a string of falsehoods to attack President Obama as having "compiled a spectacular record of noncompliance with the Constitution" and "failed to execute the laws while using raw, unauthorized power." The first concerns the Defense of Marriage Act:

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): On Feb. 23, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that under Mr. Obama's direction, the Justice Department would no longer defend DOMA, which is under attack in several federal courts. DOMA, which was passed by overwhelming majorities in Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, defines marriage for all federal purposes as the union of a man and a woman and allows states under the full-faith-and-credit clause not to be forced to recognize unions from other states that do not comport with their state marriage laws. Forty-five states have moved to strengthen their marriage laws, with 30 enacting constitutional amendments. Mr. Obama, who has played coy with the marriage issue while aggressively promoting the homosexual agenda, is violating his oath of office to appease the gay lobby.

In fact, while they are no longer defending DOMA, Obama and the DOJ have pledged to continue to enforce the act until it is repealed or struck down by the courts. Furthermore, the president and DOJ have the authority not to defend a statute they view as unconstitutional.

Knight also claimed that "[a]fter New Black Panther Party members were caught on tape intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place in 2008, the Justice Department declined to defend the convictions and thus sent the message that baton-wielding thuggishness on Election Day is no big deal." He quoted J. Christian Adams as saying that the dismissal of charges amounted to a "lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law."

But according to an investigation by DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility into allegations that the Obama DOJ allowed racial and political considerations to affect its handling of the New Black Panther Party case, there was "no evidence" that race or politics impacted the case and the DOJ "did not commit professional misconduct or exercise poor judgment, but rather acted appropriately." What's more, Adams, the former DOJ lawyer who leveled the unsubstantiated charges that sparked the controversy, has been completely discredited.

Knight also advanced a myth about Obama's new immigration policy:

Then, last month, the administration announced a new policy that, in effect, ends enforcement of illegal immigration, providing the illegal alien meets the requirements of the Dream Act, a bill Congress failed to pass. So, Mr. Obama is ignoring current federal law while creating rules based on a law that never passed.

In fact, the Obama administration's new immigration policy doesn't "[end] enforcement of illegal immigration" but, rather, instructs law enforcement personnel to use prosecutorial discretion to postpone the deportation of certain undocumented immigrants in order to prioritize the removal of convicted felons. Moreover, prosecutorial discretion is well-established in U.S. law, and was even used by the Bush administration to stop the deportation of certain categories of undocumented immigrants.

Finally, Knight misrepresented the National Labor Relations Board's case against Boeing. He wrote:

The Fifth Amendment: The Constitution guarantees that no one is deprived of his or her property without "due process of law" or "just compensation." The National Labor Relations Board's absurd order to the Boeing Co. not to open a newly built $750-million Dreamliner facility in right-to-work South Carolina, because unions in Boeing's home state of Washington object, violates that guarantee. Even liberal New York Times columnist Joseph Nocera commented, "Seriously, when has a government agency ever tried to dictate where a company makes its products? I can't ever remember it happening."

In fact, the NLRB's complaint alleges that Boeing moved work to South Carolina in retaliation for the decision of union workers to engage in lawful strikes, and experts have stated that if NLRB's allegations are true, the Boeing case would be "a classic violation" of labor laws. Contrary to the claim that the government is trying to "dictate where a company makes its products," the NLRB complaint says companies are free to locate their plants where they want.

Posted In
Justice & Civil Liberties
The Washington Times
Robert Knight
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