Republicans have characterized Obama’s executive actions preventing gun violence as “a power grab,”, pledged to introduce legislation nullifying his orders, and even floatedimpeaching the President for allegedly overstepping his Constitutional powers.
On Wednesday night, former Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey offered a reality check for alarmed conservatives. Appearing on Fox News’ Hannity, Mukasey clarified that no court would find Obama’s gun violence prevention initiatives unconstitutional:
MUKASEY: I don’t think it’s unconstitutional in the sense that I don’t think it’s something you could get a court to find unconstitutional. We could have a debate about whether it’s consistent with the constitution or not, but there is a limited number of things that will get you into court to have that decided, and I don’t think any of the things you’ve enumerated are among them.
Reagan’s solicitor general Charles Fried also poured cold water on GOP comparisons of Obama to dictators and tyrants, noting many of the provisions are calls to action or carry out existing law: “These are either standard exercises of presidential power, or even more benignly, standard examples of the power of the president to exhort the public or state officials to be aware of certain problems and to address them,” he said.