Call him Queen Bee

The myth of an omnipotent presidency makes it harder to get a competent one

Jul 5th 2014

FOR anyone who doubts that America is the land of the free, the ability of the Supreme Court to turn a question posed by a Pepsi distributor into a ruling that restricts presidential power ought to be reassuring. In NLRB v Noel Canning the court decided on June 26th that Barack Obama had acted unconstitutionally when he appointed people to the board of a federal agency while the Senate was technically still in session.

That the decision was unanimous must have stung the constitutional law professor in the White House as much as it delighted Republicans.

The day before the court’s decision, John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, announced plans to sue the president for overreaching his authority and for enforcing laws selectively. “We elected a president,” Mr Boehner wrote to his colleagues. “We didn’t elect a monarch or king.”