Right, and don’t forget that the agreement with Iran as it stands right now is explicitly designed to outlast Obama’s administration.
Via Newsbusters, the sedition/treason nonsense of the past 24 hours is just the logical conclusion to two years of left-wing buy-ins on Obama’s power grabs. If you’re willing to let him rewrite parts of ObamaCare to delay the employer mandate, if you’re willing to let him rewrite U.S. immigration law to legalize illegals, then of course you believe he has the authority to execute a major agreement on an enemy power’s nuclear program that’s binding on Congress notwithstanding their treaty power under the Constitution. Go read the Senate GOP’s letter to Iran if you haven’t already. It’s a prosaic recitation of constitutional duties — the Senate is supposed to approve treaties (true), the president knows this and is choosing to ignore them in favor of an “executive agreement” instead (true), and therefore Iran shouldn’t assume that that agreement will be honored once a new executive is in charge (true). If Obama followed the rules by seeking formal Senate ratification, the letter would be unnecessary; Tom Cotton and the GOP could express their opposition by voting it down. But Obama doesn’t follow the rules anymore and the left not only doesn’t care, they consider it borderline seditious to remind the enemy that a return to normal constitutional order may be in the cards once he’s out of office. (As several righties pointed out on Twitter this morning, even Media Matters understands that members of Congress can’t violate the Logan Act by carrying out their legislative duties.) The letter is extraordinary because the conditions that Obama’s contempt for separation of powers has created are extraordinary.
This nuclear deal is not business as usual, says Conn Carroll:
Obama will claim that his deal with Iran is not a treaty but a “sole executive agreement” that requires no approval from Congress. Sole executive agreements have been used by presidents since the early 1800s, but the exact scope of this power has long been in question. The Supreme Court has allowed many such agreements to stand (e.g. Dames & Moore v. Regan or American Insurance Ass’n v. Garamendi), but the Court has always required at least some evidence that Congress at least acquiesced to those policies.
The sole executive agreement power has also been used to end formal arms treaties, most recently by President Bush in 2001 when he unilaterally exited the Anti-Balistic Missile Treaty with Russia. However, new arms deals have almost always been submitted to the Senate for approval, including Bush’s 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty with Russia.
Obama’s nuclear arms deal with Iran would be an unprecedented expansion of this sole executive agreement power.