Whatever the investigation into misconduct at the Internal Revenue Service reveals, we already have all the evidence we need to understand President Barack Obama's fundamental attitude toward the rule of law.
That evidence is right there in the public record, and what it shows is indifference and contempt.
The Constitution gives the president the power to appoint officials to fill vacancies when the Senate isn't in session.
In 2012, Obama made such "recess appointments" to the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - even though the Senate had stayed in session precisely to keep him from doing so.
Obama's lawyers argued that the Senate wasn't really in session even though it claimed to be: It was going through the motions to block Obama, but it wasn't taking up bills or nominations.
No previous president had ever tried this maneuver, and an appeals court has just ruled that it was unconstitutional.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the sweeping health care law that Obama signed in 2010, asks state governments to set up health exchanges, and authorizes the federal government to provide tax credits to people who use those exchanges to get insurance.
But most states have refused to establish the online marketplaces, and both the tax credits and many of the law's penalties can't go into effect until the states act.
Obama's IRS has decided it's going to apply the tax credits and penalties in states that refuse, even without statutory authorization.
During the recent scandal over the IRS's harassment of conservative groups, many Republicans have warned that the IRS can't be trusted with the new powers that the health law will give the agency.
They are wrong about the verb tense: It has already abused those powers.
Another provision of the health law authorized the secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, to require employers to cover preventive services in their insurance policies.
She decided that almost all employers would have to cover contraception, sterilization and possibly abortion-causing drugs, such as Ella, whether or not the employers objected on religious grounds.
That edict flew in the face of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which stipulated that the government can override religious conscience only when it is the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling interest. Republican senators had warned Sebelius of this issue before she imposed the rule.
She has admitted that even after their letter, her department imposed it without either requesting a legal analysis from the Justice Department or producing its own memo.