Obama’s Speech Raises Question: Where Does He Get the Authority to ‘Inform’ a Private Company—BP or Any Other—That It Must Surrender Its Money?

June 16, 2010 04:58

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.

By Terence P. Jeffrey at CNSNews.com

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? Should not courts and normal legal proceedings determine who is responsible, who has been harmed, and who owes what to whom in regards to the Gulf oil spill?

Leaving aside BP’s relative popularity or lack of it today, if President Obama, on his own initiative, can tell a corporation to surrender its money because he has determined its culpability in an oil spill, under what other circumstances can Obama or any future American president tell a corporation or a private citizen to surrender money?


Help Make A Difference By Sharing These Articles On Facebook, Twitter And Elsewhere: