September 15, 2011
Marie Lozito is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Massage Therapist, wife, mother, grandmother and life-long conservative. She wrote a text on medical massage and taught at New York College of Health Professions.
Interested in, and observing politics since 1960, she
ran for elected office in 2010.
The Usurping of Our Power
Congress has considered reforming the current immigration law with the “Dream Act” a few times. Each time, Congress has refused to pass this liberal bill into law. Now our President is putting the different provisions of the bill into law by Executive fiat! Excuse me but this is not within his Constitutional powers as president! The Executive Branch is not empowered to make the laws!
The Founding Fathers made every effort to protect individual liberty. Article II, Section 3 directs the president to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." That is, it directs the Executive Branch to ensure that laws Congress has passed are carried out. The president is neither told to, nor allowed to, write his own laws or to carry out laws Congress has refused to pass. To do so is a blatant violation of the “Separation of Powers” doctrine that the Founders wove throughout the fabric of the Constitution. Indeed, the provisions of the Dream Act that he has enacted are in violation of current immigration law.
The “Separation of Powers” is fundamental to individual liberty. As Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia noted in the landmark Morrison v. Olson case,
“The Framers of the Federal Constitution viewed the principle of separation of powers as the absolutely central guarantee of a just Government. ... Without a secure structure of separated powers, our Bill of Rights would be worthless, as are the bills of rights of many nations of the world that have adopted, or even improved upon, the mere words of ours.”
When the doctrine of separation of powers is violated, as the president is doing by unilaterally enacting and enforcing immigration laws, our freedoms are in jeopardy. As George Washington said,
“The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism.”
“It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it. After discriminating, therefore, in theory, the several classes of power, as they may in their nature be legislative, executive, or judiciary, the next and most difficult task is to provide some practical security for each, against the invasion of the
-James Madison, Federalist No. 48, 1788.
It was for the purpose of restraining the three branches of the Federal government that the ingenious Separation of Powers, with
its checks and balances, was developed by our Founding Fathers. They knew “A fondness for power is
implanted in most men, and it is natural to abuse it, when acquired.” -Alexander Hamilton, 1775.
“Government can, instead of extending freedom, restrict freedom. And note ... that the 'can' quickly becomes 'will' the moment the holders of government power are left to their own devices. This is because of the corrupting influence of power, the natural tendency of men who possess some power to take unto themselves more power. The tendency leads eventually to the acquisition of all power - whether in the hands of one or many makes little difference to the freedom of those left on the outside."
-U. S. Senator Barry Goldwater
The Founding Fathers also made great effort to protect
individuals' rights and the states' rights and powers. That is why the Federal Government
had been strongly restricted in what it was allowed to do. However,
"Over the past half-century, Washington has insinuated itself into a thousand-and-one decisions that individuals or local governments are more than capable of making for themselves. Which medicines can you buy? How efficient should your light bulbs be? Can your children's school day begin with a prayer? Who qualifies for a mortgage? When do unemployment benefits run out? Can you pay an employee $5 an hour if that's what his labor is worth? Should abortions be restricted? Is health insurance optional? Do artists or farmers or broadcasters require subsidies? Are you in charge of your retirement income?
In Federalist No. 45, James Madison emphasized that, under the Constitution, the powers of the federal government 'are few and defined,' while those left to state and local communities 'are numerous and indefinite.' For the first 150 years or so of US history that was largely the case. But New Deal and Great Society liberalism has turned the framers' careful arrangement inside out.
Today, there is almost nothing in American life that Washington does not consider itself fit to regulate, control, ban, tax, or mandate. ... Has the staggering growth of the federal establishment made America a better, more humane, more optimistic place to live?
Obviously it is possible to single out this or that law or regulation or expenditure and show that it has been beneficial. Not even the most ardent libertarian disputes the need for federal governance of inherently national matters - and the Constitution itself makes clear that Washington has a role to play in guaranteeing civic equality and political liberty. Yet in crucial ways, the flow of power upward to the federal government has impoverished American culture and weakened civic society."
- columnist Jeff Jacoby
"When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government (state governments and federal government) on another." -Thomas Jefferson. Indeed that is what has happened with the Federal government micromanaging our lives. Jefferson was also right when he wrote,
"It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please. Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. The Constitution was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers ...”
We all need to learn more about the United States Constitution and understand it. That is the way to start recovering our liberties and to force the Federal Government back to
its proper role in our lives. Again, I highly recommend the Hillsdale College course on the Constitution – it is available for FREE online. If you miss the live webcast, it is archived and you can access it to watch at a time that is convenient for you. If we are to save the American Dream, we must restore America and we need to start doing it now!