Editorial: Blocking Obama’s illegal orders

A Texas judge has blocked President Obama’s bid to arbitrarily – with the approval of Congress – to expand overtime pay protections to millions of Americans.

Obama, a lame duck, is trying to sneak in as many bad policies as he can in his last days in office and this one is big.

Obama’s Labor Department rule doubles the salary level at which hourly workers must be paid extra for overtime pay, applying the requirement to anyone making up to $47,476 annually. U.S. District Court Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III, agreed with Nevada and 20 other states who want to halt the rule. Mazzant incorporated a similar legal challenge from a coalition of business groups into his ruling.

This is a damaging blow to Obama’s legacy of abusing executive power and must be stopped.

Obama has illegally circumvented Congress on climate, immigration and foreign policy, among others. Of course, he was hoping Mrs. Clinton would win the presidency and preserve these favors for his buddies.

The election of Donald Trump threw a monkey wrench into that scheme.

Texas has stood up to his antics and has sued the administration more than 45 times and its attorney general co-led the overtime lawsuit. The overtime rule, finalized in May, was the first such increase in more than a decade. Plaintiffs argued that the Labor Department acted beyond its authority under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Judge Mazzant said they were right, saying that the department has leeway to define which employees are eligible for overtime pay but not the salary level.

“The department’s role is to carry out Congress’ intent,” he wrote in a 20-page opinion. “If Congress intended the salary requirement to supplant the duties test, then Congress, and not the department, should make that change.”

Retail and fast-food businesses warned that it would backfire by leading employers to slash workers’ hours. But Democrats in Congress, predicted that workers would either raise employee salaries or hire more part- and full-time workers to prevent having to pay a higher hourly rate.

The Obama “legacy” may take some time to correct.