The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
11 Points

Whether Barack Obama Has Violated the Constitution

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/27/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 905 times Debate No: 55541
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)




Past presidents such as Busch, and Clinton have violated the constitution. Many say that Obama has as well. Their is evidence to either side of the argument, so I would like to see who can produce the best argument towards this. Thank you for your time.


Excellent question, glad someone asked that!
I look forward on hearing your opinion, and let the debate begin!
Debate Round No. 1


Since the start of his term in 2008, Barack Obama has bypassed congress at least 15 times. He has done this with Obamacare, and the minimum wage, as well as immigration laws. From the beginning he has had an "If Congress wont act, I will," kind of attitude. Heritage foundation legal fellow Andrew Closter explained, "Whether it is making unlawful payments to congressional health care plans, making recess appointments in violation of the Constitution, or urging federal contractors to violate the WARN Act," Kloster said, "this administration has taken numerous actions that are abusive or plainly unlawful." Clearly Barack has violated the constitution many times.


Although I am representing the CON side, I would like to point out that he has in fact several times been extremely close to breaking a law.

But there is something called Constitutional interpretation, so basically it depends on how you interbred the constitution, on if he has broken laws.

My interpretation is that he has used the law to his advantage. He has ingeniously put through actions to get his plans done, actions which may be very close to breaking a major law.

But every president has done that, every president has played with the law to pull through with their plans. You just can't get things done otherwise.

"If Congress wont act, I will"

That is exactly the attitude you need and America needs, for the benefit of all.

Debate Round No. 2


Yes I agree with you, every president has used the law to his own advantage, that is how politicians work, however that sentence should not be true. I know this is going off topic, however the president should not need to break the constitution to be able do what he needs to do for the country. The fact is that congress almost forces presidents to do this, often they argue, making simple things into much longer debates. Presidents wanting to make drastic changes quickly will have to avoid congress. However by avoiding congress, they break the founding laws that were set down by our forefathers. The system of checks and balances was set into the constitution to help keep power in check, that means that presidents, and Obama, have to go through congress. Presidents are supposed to be the compromise between the political parties, they need to help pass laws that both can agree upon and that does not violate the constitution. Now back to topic, Obama altogether ignores congress sometimes, as well as other things. Here is a nice list of all the ways he has violated the constitution. Eventually we will need to have another meeting about revising the constitution for the betterment of the nation. Some of the ideas in it do not work in the times today. But as long as we have it, we need to strictly follow it, because it is what keeps us free.


Congress sometimes can be extremely uptight and difficult to get things done. That is just bound to happen if you have a room full of people from opposing parties.

Obama in fact is notorious in not having conversation with Congress before putting through his actions. And not all the actions have been entirely accepted or worked the way they where supposed too. Maybe if he had put the action in place through Congress, they would be more refined.

And yes, if that is how US politics work, something has to change.

"Eventually we will need to have another meeting about revising the constitution for the betterment of the nation." Is that an invitation to a debate? I am up for it!

Alright, back on track.

I have to define some things to make my following arguments make sense.

Legislative power:
The power of Congress to make laws.

Executive power:
The president:
  • is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces. He or she has the power to call into service the state units of the National Guard, and in times of emergency may be given the power by Congress to manage national security or the economy.

  • can issue executive orders, which have the force of law but do not have to be approved by congress.

  • has the power make treaties with Senate approval. He or she can also receive ambassadors and work with leaders of other nations.

  • is responsible for nominating the heads of governmental departments, which the Senate must then approve. In addition, the president nominates judges to federal courts and justices to the United States Supreme Court.

  • can issue pardons for federal offenses.

  • can convene Congress for special sessions.

  • can veto legislation approved by Congress. However, the veto is limited. It is not a line-item veto, meaning that
  • he or she cannot veto only specific parts of legislation, and it can be overridden by a two-thirds vote by Congress.

  • delivers a State of the Union address annually to a joint session of Congress.

The majority of these offences are that the President has extended his power a bit for humanitarian causes, to help immigrants, or to help poor patients. Any court would dismiss these offence in favor of the greater good.

And to state my argument, the President has nearly only used Executive Orders a right he is granted in the constitution. It gives him the power to enact certain things without the approval of Congress.

"Note: Executive Orders by the president were not designed for, nor do they give a president the authority to use as, a means to override or alter legislation or any other Constitutional violation."

Do you know what a veto is? That clearly overrides a law but is completely constitutional.

"Furthermore, Executive Orders apply only to employees of the Executive Branch. Any Executive Order that applies to non-government employees is in violation of Article I Section I. Congress has the authority and is oath bound to veto such Executive Orders."

"Executive orders are directed to federal agencies that are charged with carrying out the order"

So not only executive employees, but any federal agency.

To finalize my statement, the president has enacted several legislative actions that he was entitled to in the constitution, and has enacted executive orders that he was also entitled too, in the constitution.

The website Pro has cited is filled with extremely stretched offences, bordering on completely wrong, so his viewpoint is not supported by good sources.

Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by 123456789123456789 2 years ago
In response to Motormouth, I believe all politicians us the constitution to their own advantage.
Posted by Motormouth 2 years ago
He didn't VIOLATE the constitution but, He did use it to his advantage. He manipulated Man's rights.
Posted by Scott_Jensen 2 years ago
How exactly has he violated the Constitution? I'm curious to know.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Progressivist 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro fails to fill his burden, and fails to refute Con's rebuttals about interpretation and executive order. Sources to Con, as he had more, and were all more reliable than Pro's. Spelling and Grammar to Con as well, as Pro repeatedly misused the word "their/there/they're".
Vote Placed by Raymond_Reddington 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro claims quickly that Obama bypassing Congress is violating the Constitution, but Con points out that executive orders are a power granted in the Constitution. Con then uses the "interpretation" argument. Blurring the line between violating and maintaining the Constitution makes it significantly more difficult for Pro to fulfill his BoP. Overall Pro failed to fulfill his Burden so the argument points go to Con. Sources also goes to Con because he cited many reliable web sites. Pro's only source was far from reliable and had a clear radical right wing bias. Spelling and grammar were about equal. Conduct was also equal. *Note to Pro: Citing your sources for your arguments is a good habit to get into, but don't use links as your sole arguments. You have to actually type your argument out in the debate. Don't expect all voters to read all of your source and treat the argument as yours.