Bob Ashby: Are Americans ready to preserve the rule of law?
By Bob Ashby
Posted Nov. 4, 2015 at 2:01 AM
There are a myriad of problems facing this nation that demand clear visions and solutions. There is, however, one principle each and every one of the presidential candidates should be forced to address. It was introduced to the world for the first time by the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution — the rule of law rather than rule by a privileged, powerful or supposedly "enlightened" administrative state.
Maybe examples will illuminate the threat. The Department of Justice recently declared that the Internal Revenue Service was only guilty of "poor management." This was after mountains of evidence exposed IRS use of theoretically non-partisan power to threaten and intimidate groups of conservative citizens for their political views and speech. In essence the decision says the IRS— the agency which holds regulatory power over millions of Americans — may investigate, charge, try and punish anyone according to the dictates political ideology.
Speaking of money, Obamacare took over at least one-sixth of the economy. At the end of October, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that the federal government awarded $4.6 billion to 17 recipients to set up healthcare exchanges. Out of that money, 85 percent went to Democratic states. Because of accounting and reporting discrepancies, the destination of $3 billion is, shall we say, fuzzy. Not only that, there is $1.6 billion totally unaccounted for. All of this from an agency that has sourced an explosion of regulations with the same force as law.
The Environmental Protection Agency is represented to most Americans as a benign protector of the environment. But, like the IRS and Obamacare, it also has the power to investigate, charge, try and punish anyone from individuals to giant corporations for anything it deems offensive to mother earth. As if to underscore its power, a new report by Open the Books has taken a look at the EPA’s weapons spending. Yes, weapons. Take a look: $1.4 million for guns, $380,000 for ammunition, $210,000 for deceptive equipment, $208,000 for radar and night-vision equipment.
The most egregious example of the loss of liberty to the "administrative state" is the regulation of the law itself. That low dishonor goes to the Supreme Court of the United States. With every activist decision, every flouting of constitutional text, normal logic, or even its own precedents, it coronates itself with the power to reign over states, Congress and even the presidency. If anyone thinks that description is overblown, they should take the time to read the October opinion and call-to-action by over 60 legal scholars from the likes of Princeton, Notre Dame, Villanova and Pepperdine regarding SCOTUS’s same-sex "marriage" opinion (Statement Calling for Constitutional Resistance to Obergefell).
None of this is to say that there is no need for administrative regulation. But since the New Deal revolution of 1937, regulation has become the extra-constitutional ruler of our nation with all the powers of legislation, adjudication and law enforcement.
Are the American people still willing to preserve the rule of law? If so, they must require of anyone who would presume to be our next president that they embrace a contra-New Deal. That man or woman must pledge allegiance to the rule of law under the Constitution as it is written and therefore must commit to the starvation of the administrative state.
— Bob Ashby is a resident of Holland. He can be contacted at www.realitycheck101.net
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