Jonathan Turley: Biden's Constitution workarounds – president doesn't seem to see limits for government

A partire dal abortions to elections to rents, Biden is seeking to federalize huge areas to displace state law. Not since John Adams and his Federalist Party has the country faced such a fundamental challenge to our system of federalism.

Some of the claims made by Biden recently would make even Adams blush. What is most striking about these claims is that Biden and his aides have indicated that they know they are operating outside of constitutional limits.


Take the recent controversy over the vaccine mandate. Biden and aides like chief of staff Ronald Klain claimed before the inauguration that he would impose national mandates in the pandemic, only to be told that a president lacks such authority over the states. Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democratic leaders then denied that they would impose such mandates, often acknowledging the constitutional limits placed on presidents.

Then came last week, when Biden suddenly announced that he would impose a national vaccine mandate through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Klain admitted that the OSHA rule was a mereworkaroundof the constitutional limit imposed on the federal government. White House press secretary Jen Psaki preferred to call it apathwayafter admittingwe do not have the power to inform each American you need to be vaccinated.


Whether aworkaroundor apathway,” the move would allow the federal government to dictate public health measures in every state – a claim that will face major federalism challenges in court.

Under this interpretation, OSHA could impose a federal mandate for any measure that impacts workers, including public health measures not directly linked to a given workplace or job. That may be more of a sticker shock for some on the federal bench, including some justices.

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The move came on the same day Attorney General Merrick Garland announced an equally sweeping claim of federal jurisdiction over abortion rights in challenging the Texas law.

Garland announced that the federal government would appear in court not as an amicus (or friend of the court), as has been its practice in past cases. Anziché, it will sue directly as a party in interest because the law is viewed as countermanding a constitutional right. Infatti, Garland claimed such authority in defense of any constitutional right that could be abridged by any state law.

Nelle sue osservazioni, Garland indicated that the government would claim federal preemption in whole or in part over the abortion area. That is another sweeping claim that could make many judges uneasy. The Supreme Court has always recognized state authority in this area. The question is where to draw the line. The filing will add a new basis for pro-life challenges based on federalization.

The filing against the Texas law followed a call from Biden for awhole of government responsethat was obviously directed at the Justice Department. It is not the first pressure exerted by the White House on agencies for such legal claims.

The Democratic Party has now emerged as the new Federalist Party and Biden is seeking to outdo John Adams in supplanting state authority.

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