The Republican Passed Keystone Pipeline Bill Violates The Constitution

Republicans have made myriad claims throughout the entirety of President Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House that he violates the Constitution, and based on lack of validity of their claims it is simply because he is an African American man. This is evident in the simple fact that they never, never ever once, claimed any Republican white president violated the founding document for doing the exact same thing they claim is unconstitutional when President Obama does it (executive actions). However, due to the Republicans’ propensity for projection, and their recent push to approve a foreign corporation’s pipeline project, one can assume it is Republicans who are violating the Constitution; and they are.

Every one of the Koch Republicans, and their oily Democratic cohorts, who voted to approve a State Department construction permit for TransCanada to build the KeystoneXL pipeline across America’s international border with Canada are guilty of violating the Constitution’s long-standing “Separation of Powers.” This is not the first time a Republican Congress violated the Separation of Powers, but it is the first time they have attempted to subjugate the State Department and Executive Branch to the will of the Koch brothers’ Legislative Branch; something not remotely Constitutional. During George W. Bush’s presidency a Republican Congress voted to subjugate the Judicial Branch’s authority; specifically to serve two Americans. Unlike President Obama who understands the Constitution, Bush signed legislation giving Republicans purview over another branch of government’s authority.

Obviously, most Americans are completely ignorant of the constitutional Separation of Powers, but the Koch Republicans certainly should be cognizant of the concept because they did just take an oath of office and swore to their god they would “support and defend the Constitution of the United States…and bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” It is a solemn oath and obligation that they “take freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion,” and that they would “well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” However, Republicans serve a higher power than the U.S. Constitution and if the Koch brothers demanded they violate the document they swore freely to support, then they “well and faithfully discharged the duties” of solely serving the interests of Charles and David Koch and a foreign corporation.

In case members of the Koch Congress are unaware of their duties as participants in the Legislative Branch of government, the Constitution is very succinct and clear: “Congress has authority over financial and budgetary matters, through the enumerated power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.”

What the legislative branch absolutely does not have any authority over, regardless the issue, are any matters regarding the Executive Branch and its agency the Department of State. In the case of passing legislation approving a Canadian corporation’s construction permit crossing America’s sovereign international border, they are attempting to seize authority the Constitution says is the purview of the State Department; no matter what Charles and David Koch say or believe. It is likely why in the Koch’s vision of America, the Department of State would be abolished and replaced by a privately-held corporation; most likely Koch Industries.

A legal expert wrote a very prescient article explaining why the Koch Congress passing “special legislation written to specifically affect the fate of a particular individual, a small group of individuals, or a company, whose name (or names) is directly mentioned in the legal text itself” is inherently unconstitutional. University of Toledo College of Law professor Evan C. Zoldan rightly asserts the “Keystone Bill” is not unlike a 2005 Republican Congress legislation “for the relief of the parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo.” That was the legal dispute between Schiavo’s parents and her husband over whether she should be kept in a ‘persistent vegetative state’ with a feeding tube. That decision was the purview of, and should have been resolved by, the judiciary; not religious right Republicans or George W. Bush. In fact, Professor Zoldan noted that the law specifically “wiped away all previous legal precedent of the judiciary;” particularly because it said “Nothing in this Act shall constitute a precedent with respect to future legislation.”

In the same manner that the “Schiavo” legislation did not apply to any other Americans other than Schiavo’s parents, the Koch’s Keystone bill “will not let any other pipelines crossing international borders bypass the State Department’s permitting process.” As Zoldan noted, in the Schiavo case Republicans superseded the authority and power of the judicial branch of government, and in the KeystoneXL case Republicans are attempting to supersede and take power out of the hands of the Executive Branch. In the Keystone case it is because an African American man is the President and because Republicans’ allegiance and service is to the Koch brothers; not the American people, not America, and certainly not the United States Constitution.

In either case there is the same constitutional violation; “the illegal encroachment by one branch of government into the function of one of the other branches.” Something Professor Zoldan said “represents a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers.” A violation, by the way, that no-one is screaming about or threatening to take legal action to sue, or remove from office, Republicans over for violating their oath of office and the Constitution.

The legal expert claimed that if Republicans were somehow able to override President Obama’s KeystoneXL veto, anyone could take Congress to court for overstepping its Constitutional authority and bring the project to a screeching halt. However, it is highly likely that if a case did get to the Supreme Court, the Kochs would simply issue an edict to their conservative puppets to rule the Constitution’s Separation of Powers null and void in the same manner the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops and religious right ordered the Vatican-5 to demolish the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses. This Court’s conservatives have about as much use for, or fealty to, the Constitution as Republicans and the cretins have no problem violating it with impunity.

America’s government has worked relatively well over its history abiding by the Founding Fathers’  ‘checks and balances’ and Separation of Powers that prevents one branch of government from becoming all-powerful. Republicans just cannot abide not having the ultimate authority the Koch brothers demand to control this nation and if it means violating the Constitution they swore to god to uphold, the Keystone legislation proves there are no bounds the un-American malcontents will not cross.

View Comments

  • I do not want to go back to the days of the late 60's and early 70's. I remember them and don't want my grandchildren to have to experience that dirty, nasty, foul smelling time.

    • I on the other hand am so glad I lived during the late 60s and 70s where we cared about people, race relations were better, and there weren't so many people on the streets or unemployed because if you didn't like one job, there were 3 or 4 more jobs you could apply for.

      You talk about 'dirty, nasty, and foul smelling' times, guess you haven't been walking the streets or riding the buses lately where all you smell are hundreds of urine and unbathed homeless people.

      I wish I could go back to those times because people cared about other people and it wasn't all about the money like it is now. Back then employers cared about their employees; not so much today.

    • The REAL STENCH is coming from the dark money, a Congress that accepts this money instead of serving the American people, and the ideologues. They hate America!

      In my long life I have never, never, seen such blatant greed and lust for power and racism. I have never seen such disdain for the American people and poor as I have seen since Reagan. The so-called tea party and the GOP whose coat-tails they grabbed onto are an abomination to our nation as is the GOP. The Kochs, whose papa founded the John Birch Society, and all dark money should be abolished.

      SCOTUS must reverse their decisions that oppose the Constitution.

      We, the people, must be relentless, speak truth to power without fear if we are to remain a secular nation as our Founders and Framers intended.

      I love my country for my whole life. As daughter of Italian immigrants I learned to honor this land. I don't want anti-Americans, whoever they are, to destroy. We need to build and keep building...to be a light to the...

      • Congress is starting to sound more like the Catholic men who serve on the Supreme Court. They have pledged allegiance to a higher power—Catholic canon law. This is evident by their Greece, NY town board decision; their approval of domestic terrorists to assault, batter, harass and intimidate anyone who goes to a family planning clinic for whatever reason; and their Hobby Lobby decision, which gives a non-human entity the right to impose someone else’s religious beliefs on its employees.

        The male Roman Catholic justices no longer consider it their duty to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution.

  • Does anyone read Think Progress?
    If not please do so. Look for a piece on the side "while America spars over keystone Xl a vast net work of pipe lines are quietly being put in place to use and build. Some old ones too.The map of where these lines are is very interesting. The fact these old lines are being put under greater pressure by the oil is even scary.
    It seems the Koch's will get what they want with the completion, so why the big push on Keystone XL?
    Perhaps this is just another way to destroy the Constitution! Which is their great and best way to control? The 889 million will buy something, now won't it? Perhaps our country!

    • gsb....good point. Someone needs to remove those illegal pipelines OUT that are being built without a permit. Put them up..take them down!
      A similar thing happened in south east Florida with developers. They were forbidden to build in the Everglades. They just continued to fill up the Everglades with sand and dirt, and started building houses! By the time all the legal work was done, The developer was like we already have a subdivisions built. Their mindset is nobody's going to stop me, not even the law I'm moving through.

    • There was an attempt to change the constitution and pass KXL using the emergency unemployment insurance extension as leverage/extortion. The very last section of hr 4550 read: : Section 206.
      Keystone XL pipeline
      Notwithstanding Executive Order No. 13337 (3 U.S.C. 301 note), Executive Order No. 11423 (3 U.S.C. 301 note), section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and any other Executive order or provision of law, no Presidential permit shall be required to authorize the construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of border crossing facilities for the pipeline described in the application filed on May 4, 2012, by TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P., to the Department of State for the Keystone XL pipeline, for the importation of crude oil to be located at the United States-Canada Border.. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr4550/text

  • The teatards keep screaming "Obama's lawless yet they can never provide one bit of proof of that, not one ever. The gotp has sold any respectability they had in the past to the Kochs, therefore, there is no gotp party any more - the gop is now koch. Way to go stupid idiots!

    • Nobodies talking about the Indian treaties being ignored and why isn't it valid in this pipeline? The government cannot cross their land without the Indian Nations consent and to break another treaty is UNACCEPTABLE...

  • Very enlightening Rmuse.....
    I think "we the people", should call a special prosecution and get ahead of this blatant illegal act of Defiant behavior ignoring in our Constitution that they claim to value but ignore. Think about it....they always are suing, calling special prosecutions, hearings, etc....we never. I think it's past time to start. Paint them the ugly people they are in PUBLIC SQUARE!

  • It is a sad sad time, what USED to be the United States is now the Un United States of how many different nationalities, or the new melting pot of the world. think about it! what you can do or have in one state will get you arrested in another. I personally think that our modern day Reps and Dems have screwed it up so bad that no one but no one can ever straighten it out.

  • President Obama would be well within the rules that are a mandate of his Office to uphold the Constitution, if he simply stated the illegality of the Keystone bill sitting on his desk, picked it up, and tossed it into the nearest fireplace.

    If he vetoes it, his veto gives credence to the usurpation of the State Department's role as well as the actual bill itself and the power of precedent that it will set for more of the same in the future.

  • Regulatory authority of the executive extends as far as Congress delegates it. It is up to Congress to create the executive departments and define their scope. They are well within their constitutional rights to legislate on this, but the President is also within his rights to veto, which I hope he does.

    • It makes no difference who created the agencies or departments. The State Department is under the Executive Branch.

      What Republicans are doing is tantamount to Obama unilaterally passing legislation to benefit his favorite football team.

      The President appoints Supreme Court Justices, but he cannot overturn a Supreme Court ruling his brother-in-law doesn't like. It is why the Framers carefully enumerated each branch's powers, and not that difficult of a concept to grasp; except for conservatives.

      • the constitution grants the Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce and to regulate the general welfare of the United States.

        The Constitution is a document of enumerated powers. What enumerated power clearly specific to the executive branch do you think prevents congress fro, legislating on a pipeline?

        While the author of this article mentions a power of the congress, he doesn't mention the relevant powers or mention what powers the congress is purportedly clearly invading that belongs to the executive.

        • Salt, maybe you misread the article or are under the impression that "interstate" means crossing international borders. "International" is the purview of the Department of State which falls under the Executive Branch, one of three branches, of our government. That Congress willfully blurs those lines, under normal circumstances, would be found to be unconstitutional. The fact that the Vatican is now our Supreme Court, logic is now out the window as the Reagan/Bush Jesus freaks have taken over. Their will be done.

    • No, tim, your obsession with coming back to PoliticusUSA day after day is about clearing your head of Fox "News" Channel b.s.

      You know that truth has a liberal bias, that's why you're here (although you'd rather bite off your tongue than admit to it). But you also like to play Mister Contrary because that gets you attention and that, in turn, gets your juices flowing.

      It's true that not all bullies are Republicans/Conservatives. But it's also true that all Republicans/Conservatives are bullies.

  • Stopped reading when the author screamed racism. The go to rally cry for liberals. Can't just judge a man by his policies and character flaws. Got call people racists because they don't agree with anything the man represents. Ironically, that makes the liberal racist as you are the ones who keep bringing race into the equation.

    • Now let's reason this out you sap. Eight white guys issue executive orders, some more than one, dealing with immigration enforcement. No bitching, no claims of overreach, no threats of impeachment. So this is historical and beyond refute. You can comprehend that can't you?

      One Black guy does it and all Hell breaks loose. Only difference is Obama's race; not the policy. Otherwise all the white guys would have been assailed; particularly the only guy to grant complete amnesty twice; the Republican man-god Reagan.

      You embarrass yourself. Don't embarrass yourself. It makes you look stupid. Don't purposely make yourself look stupid. It makes you an idiot.

    • Stopped reading when the author screamed racism.

      Yes, I can understand why you felt that desire. It's painful to have to see a reflection of the ugliness in one's nature through the eyes of the world. It's too embarrassing. So I can understand why you couldn't read any further. Better to embrace "ignorance is bliss" in this case because the ugly truth doth hurt.

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