• Separation of Powers Under Attack – by Former President Barack Obama (!)

    Surge Summary: Though many won’t recognize it, a genuine threat to Separation of Powers was former President Barack Obama — whose appointments throughout the government continue to pose a threat to same. It’s time for President Donald Trump to clean them out. 

    By Beau Rothschild
    Rothschild Policy and Politics

    When people today complain about violations of the Constitution’s Separation of Powers doctrine, they are usually complaining about President Donald J. Trump.  The irony is that the greatest threat to the separation of powers today is by a former president – Barack Obama.  While Obama ended up a relatively ineffectual leader when he was in office, Obama proved adept at leaving behind staff, regulations and lawsuits that have disrupted the Trump Administration agenda.

    The separation of powers splits our federal government into three distinct power centers: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial branches.  There are regulatory threats that live on forever and threaten the balance. Regulators unchecked will make changes to law that should be in the domain of the legislative branch.

    Holdover executive branch employees from the Obama years have formed a line to testify against President Trump in recent impeachment hearings and the so called “Whistleblower” who started the whole impeachment push reportedly was a former staffer for Joe Biden in the Obama Administration threatening the executive branch.

    President Obama also left behind an army of lawyers in different departments to continue previously filed lawsuits well into the third year of the Trump Administration that has allowed executive branch employees to violate both the judicial and legislative powers embodied in the Constitution.  Former Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, made many conservatives angry for allowing Obama holdover employees to stay and continue to promote the agenda of labor union political organizations.

    The media might claim this is a hoax or a “conspiracy,” but they can’t avoid the hard evidence.

    Obama policies live on today at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). A rogue agency in the Department, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), works with federal contractors to promote affirmative action policies – at least that is what they do on paper.  In reality, they have become a haven for progressive lawyers intent on suing government contractors using statistics to prove discrimination.

    Two targets of this agency are tech companies that contract with the federal government: Google and Oracle. The problem is that this agency has acted far afield of the law to haul companies into court with flimsy allegations of discriminatory promotion and hiring policies.  These progressive lawyers argue that they don’t need any actual testimony or documents providing actual evidence of discrimination, they can rely on manipulated statistical evidence to beat up on any company that contracts with the feds.

    Two strong pieces of evidence speak to the liberal hijacking of the Trump agenda at this agency at the DOL.  The first is a deep dive from a 2017 report put out by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that makes the case that the OFCCP is more focused “on garnering splashy headlines and securing high-dollar settlements than it does simply pursuing its admirable, if at times, unglamorous mission” and the “OFCCP is too often antagonistic toward the regulated community, ignores the myriad and effective diversity efforts undertaken by contractors, engages in overly broad and unreasonable fishing expeditions for employment data.” The OFCCP is still working on the Oracle lawsuit filed by the Obama Administration two days before the end of that administration.

    The second piece of evidence is a recent court filing by Oracle versus the U.S. Department of Labor that makes the case the DOL is acting without any statutory authorization for aggressive tactics by merely using statistics as evidence of discrimination. In the court filing Oracle alleges “unprecedented overreach by an executive agency.” Oracle claims that the DOL has no authority under existing law to “create an administrative trial system wherein agency officials prosecute and adjudicate discrimination claims against government contractors and then award broad injunctive and compensatory relief if the agency finds violations.” Oracle is right that agencies are not allowed to act beyond the law and this case seems like one of those times when government has gone way too far.

    One of the real problems that many Americans and corporations face today is when the administrative state holds “hearings” within the executive branch and without sufficient due process.  What happens in the current hearings at the Department of Labor is that somebody alleges discrimination, then the same agency hears the case.  It is inherently unfair and skirts due process protections for people and corporations hauled before the Department for the crime of being a government contractor.

    Time for President Trump to clean house and drain the Department of Labor swamp of Obama holdover lawyers and policies continuing to harass law abiding American companies from those who should be politically departed.

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge. 

    Image: Creative Commons; CC By-SA 2.0; Adapted from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/16231518681

    Beau Rothschild is the founder and principal of Rothschild Policy and politics. He served as the key liaison between the Committee on House Administration and the Republican Conference, House committees, and leadership. Beau’s tenure on Capitol Hill also included serving as chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, and as legislative assistant to Representatives Bill Flores and Michele Bachmann.


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