A growing crisis in our constitutional system threatens to fundamentally alter the balance of powers — and accountability — within our government. This crisis did not begin with Obama, but it has reached a constitutional tipping point during his presidency. Indeed, it is enough to bring the two of us — a liberal academic and a conservative U.S. senator — together in shared concern over the future of our 225-year-old constitutional system of self governance.
No. Really? C'mon, boys, it's Summerfest time f'cryin' out loud. Shut up with the "crisis" noise, eh? Beer's getting warm.
There has been a dramatic shift of authority toward presidential powers and the emergence of what is essentially a fourth branch of government — a vast network of federal agencies with expanded legislative and judicial power. ...The growing authority invested in federal agencies comes from a diminished Congress, which seems to have a dramatically reduced ability to actively monitor, let alone influence, agency actions.
Not exactly. Congress writes laws which are filled with "at the discretion of the Secretary...." or "...subject to the findings of the agency..." clauses. How do YOU think the EPA managed to grab 'control' of CO2, for example? It was either slovenly drafting or deliberate graftsmanship disguised as "the public interest." Take your choice: we've elected idiots or well-manicured crooks, folks.
There are a couple of reasons for this. First, no Congress-slime wants to be pinned down. There are always escape clauses built into the legislation, and these political animals use them expertly. Second, agencies and departments always have an agenda and Congress-slime always want to get re-elected. So when an agency proposes to stomp the toes of .......say........the mud-bee industry, Congress-slime make it known that they can influence the agency. Cha-Ching!!! The mud-bee lobby forks up contributions and the agency's threat goes away. Until next election cycle.
With a few exceptions, Congress is full of preening, scheming, pale and paunchy schlubs whose narcissism is only a few degrees removed from that of Obozo. THAT is why "an Act of Congress" is always the solution, whether for managing bug populations on backwater creeks in North Noplace, Nebraska, or for dictating how many artichokes Farmer Brown can put on one acre of his own damn land.
The 9th and 10th Amendments were written precisely for the problem RoJo and Turley fret about. And as Andy McCarthy notes separately, Congress can simply shut off the funds.
But that would leave Congress impotent quel' horreurs!!