The Obama administration has been the most lawless in U.S. history. I don’t mean that in the Nixonian sense of personal corruption, whereby the president is personally above the law, although the idea that Barack Obama’s tenure has been ethically pure is laughable.
No, my accusation rests on the 44th president’s seeing himself as professionally above the law, ignoring the executive branch’s legal limits and disrespecting constitutional bounds like federalism and the separation of powers.

But don’t just take it from me. Liberal law professor Garrett Epps (a professional acquaintance) admits that “even for those like me who admire Barack Obama, the constitutional record is disturbingly mixed. Obama leaves the Constitution weaker than at the beginning of his terms.” Epps labels Obama’s posture to be one of “aggressive compliance,” torturing statutory language as far as it can go in order to avoid constitutional claims.
Obama Only Furthered the Imperial Presidency
He points first to the 2011 Libya intervention. It involved neither a congressional authorization of the use of force, nor compliance with the 1973 War Powers Act, which requires at least congressional notification of troop commitments and affirmative permission after 60 days. Every president since the WPA’s enactment has claimed that it’s an unconstitutional limit on inherent executive authority over military power. Obama instead claimed that hundreds of missile strikes and dozens of air missions didn’t trigger the WPA because they only constituted “kinetic military action” rather than war.
It just doesn’t pass the smell test. Neither does at least some of the National Security Agency’s robust program of domestic surveillance, about which Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has lied to Congress. And then there’s the aggressive posture towards and persecution of journalists. It’s as if the goal was to show Donald Trump how it’s done.