Did you know some of the most significant legal battles in Washington, DC, evolve around Congress’ willingness to give its powers to the executive branch? Since the early 1990s, the problem has only grown to allow the president to exert authority he doesn’t have in the Constitution. In August 2022, President Joe Biden declared he would spend $300 billion to forgive $10,000 in student loans. Constitutional scholars question the legality of such a move under the non-delegation doctrine.
For decades, lawmakers in Congress have tried to find the easy way out. From 1990 to 2018, the Supreme Court ruled 22 times that Congress violated the most basic separation of power principles in America’s founding document. For too many elected officials, re-election has been more important than making hard votes, which is their responsibility. Yet, the US Constitution demands they assert their legislative and budgetary authority.
So, why is this important to you?
The Separation of Powers Ensures The People Are Represented in Government
At its core, conservatism is about three principles:
These ideals come straight from the Declaration of Independence and re-affirm the pre-amble of the US Constitution. While it may seem that 1778 was long ago, the principles Americans stood for then aren’t so much different now. Many Americans want to live their lives peacefully and how they see fit, so long as no one is harmed and laws aren’t broken.
Yet, too many times, left-wing politicians have other ideas. They believe the government can care for you through the generosity of its purse than you can for yourself. Perhaps Democratic lawmakers think they can control outcomes they desire easier through the executive branch. So, they create unnecessarily complex legislation where no one knows what it really says or means – not even lawyers. It’s a recipe for confusion and chaos over the span of time.
When government overreaches by violating the separation of powers, it causes a cascading social effect. Laws, regulations, and social welfare programs inhibit the three principles. Throughout this website, this will become evident.
The founding fathers created numerous checks and balances. The non-delegation doctrine is a special one. It simply states that Congress must “specifically” delegate authority to the executive branch through law before an agency makes wide-ranging regulations that have the weight of law but none to back it. In other words, Article I of the Constitution does not allow Congress to delegate its legislative authority to the administrative state or private organizations.
Congress makes the laws, and the executive branch enforces them. It’s that simple.
This is a core principle the Supreme Court has pushed back against over the last 20 years as Congress writes large, bulky pieces of legislation that are open to wide-ranging interpretations. This allows a president to issue executive orders and agencies to expand their powers through regulations legislation may or may not have intended. The justices are demanding lawmakers write what it intends in clear and precise language, and the executive branch only creates rules in keeping with the law. In other words, bureaucrats don’t get to write laws they think are good ideas until Congress says they can.
Check back to this page often. We’ll update it with links to articles that expose how lawmakers skirt voter accountability by giving up their responsibilities to federal agencies such as the IRS, Department of Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others.
Don Purdum, Political Analyst
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