Obama: "scrub existing legal authorities" to take executive action on guns?

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

The president would like to enact new gun regulations. Congress won't go along. So the president is looking for ways to evade Congress and act unilaterally through executive action.

That much is par for the course for this administration. What's novel is that spokesman Eric Schultz reportedly said, "That is why he [Obama] has asked his team to scrub existing legal authorities to see if there's any additional action we can take administratively."

It's possible that Schultz misspoke, and meant "scour," not "scrub." Even "scouring" legal authority would hardly be to President Obama's credit. One would hope (against hope with this administration) that his legal team would first decide what's lawful, and then give the president his options, rather than first seeing what the president wants to do, and then scour legal authorities to find some implausible but not crazy legal hook for his actions. But "scrubbing" legal authorities entirely would be even worse.

H/T Josh Blackman