Bush attorney general disappoints Hannity: Obama’s executive orders are legal

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:29 EDT
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Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Photo: AFP.
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Former Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey appeared on the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” Wednesday night with a message that left the host looking rather disappointed.

Rebutting the Republican talk show host, Mukasey said that President Barack Obama’s executive orders so far have been legal, as much as he finds them distasteful. He even expressed agreement with the Supreme Court’s finding that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, leaving Hannity looking perplexed.

Speaking about the president’s most significant executive actions thus far, Hannity exclaimed: “It seems me to be, by definition, abuse of power. A power grab if you will… Is it then unconstitutional in some instances?”

“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,” Mukasey replied. “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.”

Asked about the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act, Mukasey said he agreed with Chief Justice John Robert’s decision that the law is constitutional.

“I’m surprised,” Hannity replied. “Because I… In that case… So… Through use of the commerce clause we can now mandate that people buy things?”

Mukasey paused, seemingly acknowledging that Hannity just got Roberts’ decision dead wrong. “No, he didn’t say you could use the commerce clause,” the former attorney general answered. “He said you could not use the commerce clause.”

“Right,” Hannity muttered.

Mukasey added later in the interview that while he is bothered by the president’s politics and agrees that his executive orders are a “power grab” of sorts, “it doesn’t bother me in the sense that I think you can make a court case out of it. Not everything that bothers me is a subject of litigation. If they were, the courts would be very busy.”

Hannity looked disappointed.

The video below is from the Fox News Channel, aired Wednesday, January 16, 2013. Embed courtesy of Media Matters.


Photo: AFP

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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