When are climate change regulations about more than the weather?
The Daily Caller has an intriguing story this morning that quotes a George Mason University Law professor saying that President Obama's unilateral push on climate is really about changing the Constitution that stood in the way of former President Bill Clinton's climate agenda:
In a congressional hearing Thursday, George Mason University law professor Jeremy Rabkin told lawmakers that Obama’s argument that he unilaterally commit the U.S. to a United Nations agreement without Senate ratification was “a real change in our Constitution.”
“So, now we’re going to have some body, in some entity, in some foreign country that’s going to be directing us?” Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions asked Rabkin during Thursday’s hearing on Obama’s emissions-reduction promise to the United Nations.
“We have certain background assumptions about how our government is supposed to work, that’s why we have a Constitution,” Rabkin responded.
“And what this is fundamentally about is saying, ‘ah, that’s old-fashioned, forget that, that didn’t work for [President Bill] Clinton– we’re moving forward with something different which the president gets to commit us,’” Rabkin added. “That’s a real change in our Constitution.”
The Constitution and the three branches of government were created, as every school girl once knew, to make radical changes slow. The checks and balances of our system meant that an idea had to gain approval in more than one branch of government to end up as a treaty or a law.
The question before us, now and in 2016, is whether President Obama's successor will want to and, if so, can restore constitutional government after six years of transformation.