Friday, June 18, 2010

Where Does He Get the Authority to ‘Inform’ a Private Company That It Must Surrender Its Money?

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In his first-ever address from the Oval Office on Tuesday night, President Barack Obama said he was going to “inform” the chairman of BP that he must surrender the company’s money to an independent party that will distribute it to people and businesses determined to have been harmed by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The president’s declaration raises a serious constitutional question about his authority: Where does the president get the lawful power to order any private-sector company—BP or any other—that it must surrender its money?


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