Tyranny or Rule of Law?
Two For Thought
By Joe Carbonari
Last week we wrote about the use of executive orders. I favored the use of the powers that are afforded the president.
In response my colleague alluded to “tyranny” and asserted that the president’s … “job is to execute the will of the nation decided through Congress.”
I don’t believe that this Congress has effectively ascertained or acted upon the “will of the nation.” Rather, this Congress, especially the House, has acted both dysfunctionally and detrimentally.
To say that the president should follow this Congress’ direction is as nonsensical as has been many of this Congress’ actions. Consider Obamacare and the many ill-considered, ill-tempered ploys designed to dismember it. Think governmental shutdown. To assert that this represented the “will of the nation” is delusional.
If the president’s actions are thought to be unconstitutional, or not in the nation’s best interests, re-dress may be found through the Supreme Court, or by the ballot box.
As for the concept of “tyranny,” if it applies at all, it would be to the “tyranny of the minority” that has afflicted our House. It should be ended.
By Tim Baldwin
As much as the president desires to determine what constitutes a “dysfunctional” Congress, the Constitution states that only the people determine this.
There is a political process through which Congress acts or doesn’t act as the people’s representatives.
That is the only way the people’s will is revealed and made law. Any presidential act that contradicts this is unconstitutional and perhaps worse.
To say that the president can execute orders until such time as someone (with standing) brings a case to the Supreme Court is wrong on so many levels and insults the sovereignty of the people and rule of law by which we are all bound to live. In fact, the Founders expressly rejected this proposition as a check on the president.
Is it surprising that there is such a contest today?
Consider: 1) the size, weight, and complexity of our nation; 2) the federal government’s attempts to nationalize so many areas of our lives; 3) our late economic straits, to name a few. The pressure is intense and people are mad.
In America, the majority prevails over the minority, though the minority can try blocking measures they believe violate the minority’s interest or Constitution, but this has always been the case. The president cannot change this on his own will.
If the people do not like their Congress or these constitutional rules, they can elect new representatives or amend the Constitution.