“The president is going to act,” said Biden, giving some comments to the press before a meeting with victims of gun violence. “There are executives orders, there’s executive action that can be taken. We haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required.”
“Executive orders” and “executive action” on guns? That should come as no surprise, if it does happen. That’s the way around the legislative process, and if Obama can get away with it he will—on any topic.
That has been clear for a long, long time, and I’ve been expecting much more of it in his second term. I remember writing (although I can’t seem to find the post) a year or two into Obama’s first term that the prospect of his getting a second one was frightening, since he would no longer be restrained by the need to appeal to the public because he had to be mindful of re-election. He would essentially be unchecked.
Who’s going to stop him if he wants to do something by executive order? Congress? When the Senate is in Democratic hands? The Supreme Court? Don’t make me laugh.
To paraphrase Stalin, how many divisions does the Court have?
That isn’t to say that recently the Court has been especially weak on Second Amendment rights so far (see this, for example; although that wasn’t exactly the same Court as now, it was a Court with a similar number of liberals and conservatives). But in recent years Obama has been successful in his campaign of Court intimidation, and I don’t think the Court would have the courage to defy him.
At any rate, how much longer can all the conservative Justices, and Anthony Kennedy, hold onto their health? None of them is exceptionally old. But nobody’s getting any younger.