That is my counter-proposal in response to the interesting suggestion found in this article.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton tells Breitbart News that Congress should boycott President Barack Obama’s next State of the Union speech as part of its response to Obama’s executive amnesty for five million or more illegal aliens.
“That seems to be one appropriate response,” Fitton said in an email. “Imagine if half of the chamber is empty.”
I disagree – members of Congress should not shun the House chamber when Barack Obama comes to call. Instead, they should bar his entry to the chamber altogether and refuse to proffer an invitation for him to come and speak at all.
“Now wait,“ I can hear some of you saying. “Isn’t delivering the State of the Union Address a constitutionally mandated function of the President?”
And the correct answer to that question is that it is not.
Article II, Section 3 contains only this requirement:
He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient…
Notice, there is nothing there about a presidential address to Congress. While George Washington and John Adams did make such addresses, Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice and instead communicated with Congress in the form of a letter or written report to the Legislative Branch, on the grounds that the speech appeared to be too similar to British practice of the monarch’s Address from the Throne. That remained the practice until Woodrow Wilson decided he wished to speak to Congress in person, and subsequent presidents have continued that practice.
But the situation today is different.
Last night, Barack Obama announced a course of action unprecedented in American history. In direct defiance of Congress, which has been unwilling to pass legislation to change our immigration laws, Obama chose to engage in an action of dictatorial hubris unprecedented in this age of the imperial presidency. He has declared that he will not see to it that the nation’s immigration laws are faithfully executed and that he will instead create a new legal status for many of those who have broken our nation’s immigration laws and shown contempt for American sovereignty.
In light of his attack upon the very framework of our Constitutional Republic, why should Barack Obama be permitted to address the elected representatives of the American people? Why should he be permitted to appropriate the House chamber for his dog and pony show after having infringed upon the legislative prerogatives of the House of Representatives? Why should he be permitted to summon the Senators to hear him speak after having dismissed them as irrelevant? Last night he attacked and denigrated one of the three branches of government established by the Constitution, and there is no reason to think he will not further insult the dignity of the Legislative Branch if given this platform. After all, this is the man who has in the past insulted used the occasion of the State of the Union address to insult the justices of the Supreme Court -- the pinnacle of the third of the three co-equal branches of our government -- for having dared to interpret the Constitution in a manner which protected political speech.
With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections. (Applause.) I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. (Applause.) They should be decided by the American people. And I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.
House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell need to make it known immediately that there will be no invitation for Obama to address the Congress until and unless he is prepared to rescind his executive order, apologize to the assembled Legislative Branch for his unconstitutional action, and accept a formal censure for his misdeeds. If Obama is unwilling to accept those conditions, then he can put his report in writing and send it down Pennsylvania Avenue via courier. If that practice was good enough for great presidents like Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, Lincoln, Grant, and Teddy Roosevelt, then it is certainly good enough for a would-be despot like Barack Hussein Obama who is unfit to be mentioned in the same breath with those great Americans.
Congress is a co-equal branch of the federal government, granted certain powers under our Constitution. The Capitol and the two legislative chambers therein are their turf. Rather than give up that ground, they should stand it in the face of the would-be king, as an assertion of their proper and constitutionally-defined place in our system of government.