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Grassley wants constitutional review of Obama executive acts

Demands opinions of Justice on separation of powers issues

- The Washington Times - Monday, February 3, 2014

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, is pressing Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to review the constitutionality of President Obama's executive actions and to make those reviews public.

In a letter released Monday, Mr. Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Mr. Holder that Mr. Obama's unilateral decisions not to enforce certain laws and to use executive powers to achieve legislative goals suggests potential abuses of presidential power.

“I am gravely concerned that the system of checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution is threatened by the President’s determination to take unilateral action if he cannot persuade Congress and the American people of the merits of his ideas,” the senator wrote to Mr. Holder in a letter addressed Jan. 31.

Mr. Grassley said that the president's moves suggest “disrespect for the legislative branch and the checks and balances set forth in the Constitution.”

He urged Mr. Holder to release Justice's opinions and analyses of the constitutionality of the President's executive actions and requested a response from the Justice Department by Feb. 14.

Republicans criticize the president for making unilateral changes to Obamacare, both extending the deadline for those to sign up and waiving the implementation of some measures, accusing him of doing so as a way to dole out political favors. The Supreme Court also has taken a case on the constitutionality of Mr. Obama making political appointments using the "recess power" when Congress has not declared itself in recess.

In his latest move, Mr. Obama said in his State of the Union speech that he will issue soon an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay a minimum wage that is much higher than federal law requires.

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