Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) announced on Wednesday that he will introduce legislation next week to “nullify” unconstitutional executive orders that President Obama has said he will issue to implement new national gun controls.
Appearing on the Fox network with Sean Hannity, Paul pointed out that several of the president’s executive orders “appear as if he’s writing new law,” which would be an executive trespass on the legislative powers of Congress and a violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers. “I’m afraid that President Obama may have this ‘king complex’ sort of developing, and we’re going to make sure it doesn’t happen,” he told Hannity.
Supporters of Obama’s push to restrict private ownership of firearms are hoping to exploit the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting tragedy to eviscerate the Second Amendment.
The New American contacted Sen. Paul’s office today to obtain details of his legislative proposal, which was not yet available on his website. Both Sen. Paul and his media spokesman were out of the office, so the only particulars of his "Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection of 2013" to be found at this time is a one-page summary draft plan that has appeared on the website Talking Points Memo.
“We only have descriptions of the executive actions, yet many could be construed to describe an attempt by the executive to make laws in violation of the Article 1, Sec. 8 of the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment,” reads the one-page summary.
“Congress has enumerated powers in the Constitution," it continues, "and any executive order by President Obama infringing on the Second Amendment rights of all Americans would be declared ‘null and void.’”
Paul's plan also contemplates using Congress' power of the purse strings to withhold funding from any attempt to implement unconstitutional executive order attacks on the 2nd Amendment.
Sen. Kaine: "Nullification is a code word"
The Left began responding immediately to Paul’s proposal with the usual scorn for any efforts aimed at reining in an out-of-control federal government. Joan Walsh at Salon.com reflexively offered the “Progressive” view that Sen. Paul’s effort is really nothing except thinly disguised “racist” state’s rights rhetoric.
Sen. Tim Kaine implied the same in an exchange with Soledad O’Brien on CNN:
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) adds his voice to the gun control debate, lends support for President Obama’s executive actions and comments on Senator Rand Paul’s desire to nullify the President’s orders.
Sen. Kaine says, “Nullification is a code word.”
CNN’s Soledad O’Brien asks, “For what?”
Sen. Kaine responds, “It’s a states right argument that gets used in times of great controversy. The President is acting by executive power that is legally conferred on him. And as you pointed out, you went over these executive orders. They’re basic, common sense things.”
When O’Brien asks him to clarify his ‘code word’ statement, Sen. Kaine answers, “We’ll see what it is. But the notion that we’re going to nullify a presidential action when the President is acting pursuant to law, you know, that’s just kind of this anti-government rhetoric that I’m surprised to hear somebody in government using."
Paul believes that there will be a severe political backlash for many members of Congress if they fail to oppose President Obama on this fundamental issue. “I think there are a few Democrats that will worry about going home to West Virginia or other states like that and voting for a ban on guns,” Paul said. “So, I think there is a good chance we can stop his legislative action. I’m concerned he will try to do the regulatory fiat, what he can’t pass through legislation.”
Photo of Sen. Rand Paul: AP Images