Marcus: Obama Acted To Restore ‘Faith in the Ability of Government To Rectify Injustices’

‘Maybe the time just had to come to act’

Ruth Marcus: Obama "Was Acting In A Way To Restore Some Faith In The Ability Of Government To Rectify Injustices" (RealClearPolitics)

RUTH MARCUS, WASHINGTON POST: Well, it’s hard these days to vote against gridlock in Washington. Nobody ever went broke voting on the theory that we’re going to have more gridlock.

And so I think David is right on that. On the immigration front, I think I see it slightly differently than David, which is I thought the president made two very powerful points last night. The first is the humanitarian point on the implications of just allowing this situation to fester, which both of us obviously feel is a problem.

The second is to put what he did in context of what presidents, Republican and Democrat, have done before on immigration. And so there I think you’re a little bit overstating the case of the president overstepping his executive authority.

Ruth Marcus: Obama "Was Acting In A Way To Restore Some Faith In The Ability Of Government To Rectify Injustices" (RealClearPolitics)

And the final important thing that happened yesterday wasn’t what the president said, but what he did, because they didn’t just have the 10 legal scholars. And we can argue about how many legal scholars each side has. They put out a memo from the Office of Legal Counsel explaining and supporting the legality of what the president did.

That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. I have some concerns along the lines of what David has about what I call the constitutional prudence of what he did. I have fewer doubts about the legality. My concern is what future presidents are going to — how future presidents are going to use this precedent to do other things, to ignore other laws.

But, on immigration, maybe the time just had to come to act.

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