Controversial Challenges President Obama has faced in his 5 Years in Office that Involved Questions of Constitutionality

Controversial Challenges President Obama has faced in his 5 Years in Office that Involved Questions of Constitutionality

There are many controversial challenges which Obama has faced in his five years in Office. Some of the decisions he made resulted to different groups of people looking into his life and questioning many things. Conspiracy theories were circulated by those who did not support him while others chose to use the legal roots to have their concerns addressed. One of the first challenges he faced was based on the alleged claim that he was indeed not a natural born citizen of the United States (Boyer 4). According to Boyer (4), this claim would mean that he was not even eligible to become President of the United States since it is not permissible under Article Two of the United States Constitution. He further states that, the New Hampshire people who were against Obama’s presidential race insisted that the fact that his father was Kenyan did not make him a natural born citizen of the United States.

These people were relying on the Supreme Court decision made in 1875 which stated that a natural born citizen was one whose parents were both American citizens at the time of the child’s birth (Boyer 4). These claims led to the production of President Obama’s birth certificate so as to prove his eligibility. This led to another scandal which questioned the eligibility of his birth certificate. Obama was accused of forgery which was not a good picture for someone hoping to earn the trust of millions of the American citizens (Boyer 4).

Another one of the most controversial challenges which Obama has had to deal with is his visible mixed signs on the terror policy created by Bush. Ever since President Obama stepped into office, he has rejected some of the policies created by Bush while still at the same time embracing others (Richey 1). This led many to think that his stand on executive power still remains ill-defined in the anti-terror efforts. On his second day in Office, Obama ordered an immediate closure of the Guantanamo detention camp and also banned the use of torture on detainees by the US interrogators (Richey 3).

Some of the policies embraced included the reliance on state secret privilege and also the denial of habeas corpus rights to Afghanistan detainees who were captured in different countries before being transported to the US military prison in Afghanistan (Richey 4). These actions took place amidst constant calls in Congress which was suggesting for an investigation into the policies of antiterrorism by the Bush administration (Richey 8). Obama faced the challenge of coming up with terror policies which would satisfy everyone.

The Obama administration faced yet another challenge when they sort to stop the New York Police Department’s policy of “stop and frisk” and replace it with a remedy they preferred (Bruinius 1). This is thought to be quite unusual as the government made the changes after a federal judge examined the NYPD tactics of fighting crime and ruled it to be unconstitutional. The “stop and frisk” policy allowed the New York Police Officers to frisk anyone for weapons even without proof that the person was involved in crime. All that was required was the reason to doubt. The government suggested the use of an independent monitor which many were also against as they claimed it would be even more disruptive (Bruinius 1).Many thought that the tactic being used by the police was not that controversial since it is what most regions use to try and keep crime at bay.

Who were the People/Groups Opposing his Actions and Why?

The people responsible for opposing Obama’s presidency were the New Hampshire lawmakers. First, they opposed him because they felt that it was against the constitution for him to run or even become the president of the United States. Mr. Rappaport who was among the people opposing him claimed that he was not a natural born citizen as was required by the constitution (Boyer 4). When evidence was eventually brought forward, he claimed that it was forgery which was also not acceptable by the constitution. This man claimed that his opposition was based on politics and not anything personal. As a matter of fact, he claimed that if he were a republican he would still fight the same war (Boyer 4).

Obama’s position on terror policy was opposed by some analysts for a number of reasons. First, when he ordered the transfer of Mr.Marri from military detention to the Criminal Justice System the analysts described the behavior as a means of preventing justice (Richey 4). This was so because it would prevent the Supreme court from ruling on the basis of constitutionality of Marri’s military detention (Richey 6). Second, Marri’s lawyer claimed that the habeas corpus petition was not moot, contrary to what the government stated. He felt that the government was trying to evade the review of the high court so as to preserve their legal precedent in their favor (Richey 7).

The decision on the “stop and frisk” policy was opposed by the New York police along with many other groups of people including police lawyers. They felt like it was not an important issue to be controversial about while major issues were waiting in office (Bruinius 1). These people saw no difference between the use of independent monitors and tactics being used previously. As a matter of fact, they thought the previous option was better as it was more thorough. Therefore it would help to reduce the rates of crime in the region. Lawyers described Obama’s move as rather unusual since they thought the issue was petty (Bruinius 1). Many other regions were using the same method and no one had brought forward any complaints. The judge who ruled the tactic as unconstitutional did so after her findings recorded that some officers were misusing their authority to stop and frisk anyone. Many were causing discomfort to home owners since some would be stopped in their residence under the claims that they were suspected of trespassing (Bruinius 1).

Effect of the Articles of Confederation on the Policy or Outcome

It is very true to posit that the outcome would have been different if the U.S. had remained organized under the Articles of Confederation since the latter would have given a uniform guide on how such issues should be addressed. The decisions made regarding policies would not be based on what an individual thought was right, but on what was already discussed and agreed upon by the majority. Although it was a weaker option, it would have resulted to a different outcome on how issues are dealt with by the current government.


Works Cited

Bruinius, Harry. “Obama, in surprise move, wades into NYPD ‘stop and frisk’ lawsuit.” Christian Science Monitor 13 June 2013: N.PAG. Academic Search Premier. Web.

Dave Boyer, The Washington Times. “New Hampshire Lawmakers Question Obama’s Citizenship.” Washington Times, The (DC) (2012): 4. Regional Business News.Web

Richey, Warren. “Obama’s mixed signs on terror policy. (Cover story).” Christian Science Monitor 06 Mar. 2009: 1+. Academic Search Premier. Web.