Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Ending the Regulatory State by Forcing Congress to Do Its Job

 

I have decided that there is no way that Congress will ever take back its power. Its members in no way want to make hard votes or choices. Far easier to give away power to unelected regulators. Since Congress will never act, it seems more likely (though still a long shot) that a President, as a single man, just might. So, this is the inaugural I would like to see:

[President is sworn in. He pulls out a document and signs it, handing it to his incoming Chief of staff. Then he addresses America.]

My Fellow Americans, I would like to open with a quick discussion on the Constitution. When the Founders laid out this great document, they believed in a separation of powers and checks and balances. Each of the three branches listed in Articles I, II, and III have their powers enumerated. In the 20th and 21st Centuries, those powers have become blurred.

Nowhere in the Constitution was the sole power to interpret the Constitution given only to the Supreme Court. All three branches have an obligation to study, interpret, and uphold the Constitution. I just took an Oath to do so.

Because I am bound by that Oath, I cannot continue the act of legislation through regulation. Right now, there are thousands of regulations that are effectively laws. These exist because Congress after Congress has effectively given its powers to pass laws to the Executive Branch. This is not what the Founders intended, and it is not in the Constitution. Congress is meant to be the primary branch of government. Its functions are outlined in Article I. There is a reason it came first before the Presidency.

Therefore, I have just signed an executive order returning to Congress its power to legislate. Because all power in the Executive Branch stems from the Presidency, I have the sole power to eliminate any and all regulations I see fit. As of midnight tonight, all regulations that have not been directly written into law will be eliminated. Any pending cases involving those regulations will be dropped by the various agencies immediately. Any attempt at a court order to stop this action will be ignored as unconstitutional. All executive power is vested in the office of the President, and no executive agency has any power other than what is delegated to it. As of midnight tonight, that delegation of power will be revoked.

Further, as Congress clearly cannot give away its power to legislate, and all Executive Power rests within the Presidency, there is no Constitutional mandate for any executive board of panel that is not wholly subject to Congress and the Executive. As such, the Order I just signed includes all executive functions, including things like the National Labor Relations Board, the Consumer Protection Board, and many others. Again, I will ignore any order by any court to the contrary, as no court, not even the Supreme Court, can order me to violate my oath to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States of America.

I invite Congress to do its job and pass legislation that spells out the regulatory regime it wishes to enact. If Congress wants to take away a citizen’s use of his property because it has decided a pond in his backyard is a navigable waterway and under its jurisdiction, Congress is free to do so. Those voting to do so will have to face voters, unlike the unelected bureaucrats of the federal government. I will hasten to add, that I have a veto pen, and I plan to make liberal use of it to block any laws I find to be oppressive. This will most especially include any attempt to restore regulations in some omnibus bill. Congress is going to have to study and read through the regulations it wants to pass. If legislation is not important enough for Congress to actually read, then it is not important enough for me to sign.

I understand my stance will not be popular with lobbyists, career politicians, think tanks, and all other members of the Washington establishment who make their living by criminalizing their fellow citizens. Good. This is about the restoration of America from rule by unelected bureaucrats, to rule of the people, by the people, and for the people.

God Bless America

Published in Politics
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  1. Stina Member

    If any president would, it’d be this one.

    Best fake speech for Trump I’ve read here.

    • #1
    • September 25, 2020, at 11:37 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker Coolidge

    Although I normally do not describe statements regarding legislative abilities and powers as delicious, in this case I will.

    So many really excellent points have been made, Bryan.

    I especially like this one: “I will hasten to add, that I have a vote pen, and I plan to make liberal use of it to block any laws I find to be oppressive. This will most especially include any attempt to restore regulations in some omnibus bill. Congress is going to have to study and read though the regulations it wants to pass. If legislation is not important enough for Congress to actually read, then it is not important enough for me to sign.”

    • #2
    • September 25, 2020, at 12:03 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. Tex929rr Coolidge

    Beautiful.

    • #3
    • September 25, 2020, at 12:09 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng… Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng…Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It does sound sort of Trumpian. Maybe second Ignaural?

    • #4
    • September 25, 2020, at 12:17 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. GrannyDude Member

    Such a good idea. For one thing, the need to actually read and pass the laws would presumably incentivize writing them as succinctly and clearly as possible. 

    • #5
    • September 25, 2020, at 1:49 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  6. Jack Shepherd Coolidge

    Congress is too busy running for reelection to actually read bills and legislate.

    If we could end the perpetual campaign, an EO like this wouldn’t be necessary.

    I think the only way to accomplish it would be term limits, which would have to be enacted via an amendment originating with the states, since Congress won’t voluntarily cut off its own gravy train.

    • #6
    • September 25, 2020, at 1:49 PM PDT
    • Like
  7. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    It would be amusing to see Trump get impeached again for abuse of power for refusing to use his power. 

    I’d settle for a sunset law.

     

    • #7
    • September 25, 2020, at 2:40 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. Fritz Coolidge

    Great ideas here (but I think what he has is a “veto” pen, not a “vote” pen). Cheers!

    • #8
    • September 25, 2020, at 2:51 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng… Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng…Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Great ideas here (but I think what he has is a “veto” pen, not a “vote” pen). Cheers!

    fixed. Ty

    • #9
    • September 25, 2020, at 3:10 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Saint Augustine Member

    Awesome.

    • #10
    • September 25, 2020, at 6:07 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng… Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng…Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Awesome.

    Thank you

    • #11
    • September 25, 2020, at 6:12 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Saint Augustine Member

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    As of midnight tonight, all regulations that have not been directly written into law will be eliminated.

    I am very friendly to this sort of approach. I believe this is the approach of Phillip Hamburger in Is Administrative Law Unlawful?

    Ricochet’s @jamesofengland had some impressive objections to Hamburger that he shared with me on Facebook awhile back. They convinced me that Hamburger’s case is overstated at best.

    I’m likely to botch it if I try to remember and reproduce his arguments here. (Maybe the tag will work, maybe he’ll be on Ricochet around now, and maybe he’ll have time and motivation to clarify.)

    I remain convinced that some level of strong resistance to administrative law is good, that George Will is on the right track here, that Chevron deference ought to go, etc., etc.

    • #12
    • September 25, 2020, at 6:16 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. Saint Augustine Member

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Ricochet’s @jamesofengland had some impressive objections to Hamburger that he shared with me on Facebook awhile back. They convinced me that Hamburger’s case is overstated at best.

    I’m likely to botch it if I try to remember and reproduce his arguments here. (Maybe the tag will work, maybe he’ll be on Ricochet around now, and maybe he’ll have time and motivation to clarify.)

    Tag effort, take two.

    • #13
    • September 25, 2020, at 6:17 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Jack Shepherd Coolidge

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    As of midnight tonight, all regulations that have not been directly written into law will be eliminated.

    I am very friendly to this sort of approach. I believe this is the approach of Phillip Hamburger in Is Administrative Law Unlawful?

    Ricochet’s @jamesofengland had some impressive objections to Hamburger that he shared with me on Facebook awhile back. They convinced me that Hamburger’s case is overstated at best.

    I’m likely to botch it if I try to remember and reproduce his arguments here. (Maybe the tag will work, maybe he’ll be on Ricochet around now, and maybe he’ll have time and motivation to clarify.)

    I remain convinced that some level of strong resistance to administrative law is good, that George Will is on the right track here, that Chevron deference ought to go, etc., etc.

    There you go again, SA. Trying to be reasonable.

    The Ds aren’t reasonable. So we have to overreach and tie up the courts.

    Just like they do.

    I’d like to see a court try to order Trump to do something.

    I have a very strong opinion that the beautiful woman he sleeps with can’t do that.

    • #14
    • September 25, 2020, at 6:27 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Saint Augustine Member

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    There you go again, SA. Trying to be reasonable.

    The Ds aren’t reasonable.

    Yes.

    So we have to overreach and tie up the courts.

    Just like they do.

    Yeah, um . . . no.

    Or yes. Maybe I don’t know what “overreach” means in this context.

    • #15
    • September 25, 2020, at 6:29 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng… Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng…Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    None of this I propose is in anyway an overreach. It is 100% within the Constitution. If I were elected, I would do this.

     

    • #16
    • September 25, 2020, at 6:40 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. Jack Shepherd Coolidge

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    None of this I propose is in anyway an overreach. It is 100% within the Constitution. If I were elected, I would do this.

     

    I’m not disagreeing with you in any way, Bryan.

    But it’ll be portrayed as such.

     

    And the court of public opinion is extremely important in the Age of Social Media.

    • #17
    • September 25, 2020, at 7:37 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Marythefifth Member
    MarythefifthJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Love it. I have fantasized the same.

    • #18
    • September 25, 2020, at 8:00 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  19. Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng… Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng…Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    None of this I propose is in anyway an overreach. It is 100% within the Constitution. If I were elected, I would do this.

     

    I’m not disagreeing with you in any way, Bryan.

    But it’ll be portrayed as such.

     

    And the court of public opinion is extremely important in the Age of Social Media.

    Need 2 thirds of the Senate to make me care 

    • #19
    • September 25, 2020, at 8:02 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Saint Augustine Member

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    None of this I propose is in anyway an overreach. It is 100% within the Constitution. If I were elected, I would do this.

    I’m not disagreeing with you in any way, Bryan.

    But it’ll be portrayed as such.

    Oh. If that’s the criterion for “overreach,” I’m all for overreaching.

    • #20
    • September 25, 2020, at 8:51 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. genferei Member
    genfereiJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Love it. But perhaps give Congress two years, so the Donald can wield his mighty pen to give some incentive to the leftists to regret an unaccountable administrative ‘fourth branch’.

    • #21
    • September 25, 2020, at 10:52 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng… Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng…Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    genferei (View Comment):

    Love it. But perhaps give Congress two years, so the Donald can wield his mighty pen to give some incentive to the leftists to regret an unaccountable administrative ‘fourth branch’.

    If I were POTUS, I’d wants as many years without regulation as possible. Imagine the effect on the economny!

    • #22
    • September 26, 2020, at 6:43 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Al Sparks Thatcher

    Bryan G. Stephens: As of midnight tonight, all regulations that have not been directly written into law will be eliminated. Any pending cases involving those regulations will be dropped by the various agencies immediately.

    What does that mean? Are there regulations that have been written directly into law? And if there are, why the need for a regulation?

    Regulations are supposed to interpret existing law which is acting as a framework. How do you determine what regulations don’t have the backing of statute and what do? It’s actually not as easy as it sounds.

    That’s a matter of interpretation which I concede the above inaugural implies the president will do.

    There’s an argument that the federal alphabet agencies are unconstitutional. I’m not sure the above inaugural quite addresses that. Does the fictional president think they are an unconstitutional delegation of powers? Or do some of those agencies, say the FDA, stay in their lanes?

    With reservations, I am for ignoring the courts when necessary. So far, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, no president has gone against a court order, and even Lincoln didn’t openly defy a court, but just sort of ignored a few of their orders in a quiet way.

    As for omnibus bills, the president should promise he will veto any bill that was not completely read out loud by the clerk in each house of congress. If a bill is so big that it can’t be read out loud by the clerk, then you know that the members of that chamber haven’t read it all.

    Maybe he should veto any bill he hasn’t read, especially if it’s impractical for him to read it.

    • #23
    • September 26, 2020, at 3:53 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Al Sparks Thatcher

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    Congress is too busy running for reelection to actually read bills and legislate.

    If we could end the perpetual campaign, an EO like this wouldn’t be necessary.

    I think the only way to accomplish it would be term limits, which would have to be enacted via an amendment originating with the states, since Congress won’t voluntarily cut off its own gravy train.

    Sigh. California has term limits.

    Have term limits. Don’t have term limits. I don’t really care. But they won’t accomplish anything. Politicians are always looking for their next job, whether it’s getting re-elected in their present position or something else.

    If they play ball, they will get a job in the rent seeking private sector. And no explicit quid pro quo will be offered or accepted by the clever ones (almost all of them).

    You won’t be able to prove bribery in court.

    And the gravy train will still be in place, just in another form.

    • #24
    • September 26, 2020, at 4:02 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. Saint Augustine Member

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    What does that mean? Are there regulations that have been written directly into law? And if there are, why the need for a regulation?

    Regulations are supposed to interpret existing law which is acting as a framework. How do you determine what regulations don’t have the backing of statute and what do? It’s actually not as easy as it sounds.

    Nicely put. (I think that was probably part of the @jamesofengland arguments I can’t remember well enough to reproduce.)

    So far, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, no president has gone against a court order, and even Lincoln didn’t openly defy a court, but just sort of ignored a few of their orders in a quiet way.

    Andrew Jackson?

    • #25
    • September 26, 2020, at 4:38 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. Al Sparks Thatcher

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    Andrew Jackson?

    (“John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it.”) The case was Worcester v. Georgia. According to Wikipedia the court order did not direct federal marshals to enforce anything related to that order, so Jackson was under no obligation to do so.

    Marshall was actually very cognizant of the limitations of the court during that time period. He probably wrote the order (and he was the Justice that wrote the opinion) so that the court would not be in the position of being defied by Jackson.

    • #26
    • September 26, 2020, at 5:04 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker Coolidge

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens: As of midnight tonight, all regulations that have not been directly written into law will be eliminated.

    What does that mean? Are there regulations that have been written directly into law? And if there are, why the need for a regulation?

    Regulations are supposed to interpret existing law which is acting as a framework. How do you determine what regulations don’t have the backing of statute and what do? It’s actually not as easy as it sounds.

    That’s a matter of interpretation which I concede the above inaugural implies the president will do.

    There’s an argument that the federal alphabet agencies are unconstitutional. I’m not sure the above inaugural quite addresses that. Does the fictional president think they are an unconstitutional delegation of powers? Or do some of those agencies, say the FDA, stay in their lanes?

    With reservations, I am for ignoring the courts when necessary. SNIP

    As for omnibus bills, the president should promise he will veto any bill that was not completely read out loud by the clerk in each house of congress.SNIP

    Maybe he should veto any bill he hasn’t read, especially if it’s impractical for him to read it.

    Agencies act totally above the law in many ways. For instance, a woman receiving AFDC benefits and food stamps is called in to visit with a social worker. She has no worries about going in for this interview. Congress had recently upped the amount of stamps that food stamp recipients were getting, which meant that AFDC checks would be smaller. The few friends she had who received benefits like hers had all gone in for such a discussion as to why the amounts of the benefits would be different in the coming months.

    She goes in to see a social worker, who scowls at her, and says, “Someone facing the 16 years in prison you are facing should not be smiling so grandly. Maybe you will change your tune, Lady, after we have had a little talk with you.”

    She is led into a dark grey room with little light by 2 social workers. Both begin grilling her as to whom it is who has conspired with her to defraud the local Social Services Agency. She has no list of names to give them: she can’t think of a single reason why she is being asked this.

    As the questioning goes on with increasing harshness, no one will say what she has done. Finally at the 3 hour mark, one of the social workers states, “We audited your account – you failed to report a $ 5 check you got from a relative 9 months ago at Christmas. Give us some names of co conspirators and you can go home.”

    The woman finally sneered at the social workers, stood up, turned on her heel and left. I know there were no repercussions, because I was that woman. But how is that legal?

    • #27
    • September 26, 2020, at 5:07 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  28. Jack Shepherd Coolidge

    CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker (View Comment):

    Agencies act totally above the law in many ways. For instance, a woman receiving AFDC benefits and food stamps is called in to visit with a social worker. She has no worries about going in for this interview. Congress had recently upped the amount of stamps that food stamp recipients were getting, which meant that AFDC checks would be smaller. The few friends she had who received benefits like hers had all gone in for such a discussion as to why the amounts of the benefits would be different in the coming months.

    She goes in to see a social worker, who scowls at her, and says, “Someone facing the 16 years in prison you are facing should not be smiling so grandly. Maybe you will change your tune, Lady, after we have had a little talk with you.”

    She is led into a dark grey room with little light by 2 social workers. Both begin grilling her as to whom it is who has conspired with her to defraud the local Social Services Agency. She has no list of names to give them: she can’t think of a single reason why she is being asked this.

    As the questioning goes on with increasing harshness, no one will say what she has done. Finally at the 3 hour mark, one of the social workers states, “We audited your account – you failed to report a $ 5 check you got from a relative 9 months ago at Christmas. Give us some names of co conspirators and you can go home.”

    The woman finally sneered at the social workers, stood up, turned on her heel and left. I know there were no repercussions, because I was that woman. But how is that legal?

    Whatever law gives executive regulations the power of law needs to be taken out back of the woodshed to not only be beat up and shot, but also also made to squeal like a pig.

    It is literally Unconstitutional for Congress to abrogate its responsibility as it has for decades.

    • #28
    • September 26, 2020, at 5:25 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Al Sparks Thatcher

    CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker (View Comment):
    Agencies act totally above the law in many ways. For instance, a woman receiving AFDC benefits and food stamps is called in to visit with a social worker.

    Actually, AFDC is administered by the states, with funding by the federal government. The social worker may or may not have been violating state law, but was very likely a state employee. Whether your grilling was legal or not, I don’t know.

    But at least it’s easier to access your state legislator over a problem like that than a congressman.

    CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker (View Comment):
    Agencies act totally above the law in many ways.

    Sure.

    • #29
    • September 26, 2020, at 5:27 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng… Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng…Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens: As of midnight tonight, all regulations that have not been directly written into law will be eliminated. Any pending cases involving those regulations will be dropped by the various agencies immediately.

    What does that mean? Are there regulations that have been written directly into law? And if there are, why the need for a regulation?

    Regulations are supposed to interpret existing law which is acting as a framework. How do you determine what regulations don’t have the backing of statute and what do? It’s actually not as easy as it sounds.

    That’s a matter of interpretation which I concede the above inaugural implies the president will do.

    There’s an argument that the federal alphabet agencies are unconstitutional. I’m not sure the above inaugural quite addresses that. Does the fictional president think they are an unconstitutional delegation of powers? Or do some of those agencies, say the FDA, stay in their lanes?

    With reservations, I am for ignoring the courts when necessary. So far, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, no president has gone against a court order, and even Lincoln didn’t openly defy a court, but just sort of ignored a few of their orders in a quiet way.

    As for omnibus bills, the president should promise he will veto any bill that was not completely read out loud by the clerk in each house of congress. If a bill is so big that it can’t be read out loud by the clerk, then you know that the members of that chamber haven’t read it all.

    Maybe he should veto any bill he hasn’t read, especially if it’s impractical for him to read it.

    It is simple. No regulations may exist outside what Congress has explicitly approved. They have to write every single regulation into law. And face the voters for it.

    • #30
    • September 26, 2020, at 7:32 PM PDT
    • 2 likes