Executive Branch Over-Reach _ Legislative Branch Under-Reach _ Judicial Branch Without Control

Folks, our government is broken _ seriously broken. It is broken because We The People allowed it to be broken.  I  don’t know when it started to break. Maybe from the very beginning. Certainly long before I appeared on this earth. I do, however, think I know why we allowed our government to deteriorate into the mess that it is today.  The reason, in my opinion, is that Americans, as a whole, do not and possibly never did have a solid understanding of our constitution or of our civic duties and responsibilities under the constitution. maybe it started out that way because many Americans, at the time this nation took form, were illiterate and so were not really at fault. On a personal note, I had what I thought was reasonably good civics class when I was in Jr. Highschool in the 1950’s. After that  _ nothing. According to the comments of various lawyers that I have read, not even our law schools teach much about the constitution.

This is indeed a sad state of affairs. After all, the constitution is not a lengthy document. Neither is the Declaration of Independence. The Federalist Papers are a different story. But people don’t need to be constitutional scholars. There are some basic fundamentals about the constitution tha need to be well understood and there is a serious need for citizens to understand their civic duties and responsibilities as citizens.

The first thing people need to understand is the Founders gave us a constitution so that we could control our federal government and not so the federal government could control us.

Secondly, people need to understand who has what power and how the checks and balances were ment to work. People need to understand th the government has only what power we have given it, which are fully enumerated in the constitution (they are not many).  Also, people need to understand that the three branches of government are not; I repeat, are not equal and were never intended to be equal. The executive branch and the legislative branch are equal and each has a check against the other. The judicial branch is subordinate to both the executive and legislative branches.

Plubius-Huldah has just posted another remarkable essay that covers the President’s enumerate powers, rule making by executive agencies, Executive Orders and, much, much more. If someone had just the constitution for the first time and wanted to understand more, this essay by Plubius-Huldah would be a great place to start.  I encourage you to bookmark and read this essay when you can. For now, I am asking you to go to the article and scroll down to the comments section. You will find this comment/question  by me as Conservatives on Fire:

The problem I am having with nullification is this. If one branch of government (executive) says something is not constitutional and the other branch (Congress) says it is constitutional, how does the issue get resolved?

Please read her response and then scroll-up and read the comment of Ross that starts out  “Hi, nice article.” and read the response by Ms. Huldah.  I think you’ll her responses very educational. I know I did.

Here is what I would like people to understand.

  1. All elected officials take an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Nothing out of this world. The Constitution is only what; seven pages long? Our elected officials have done an abysmal job of living up to  their oath, haven’t they.
  2. The job description for the President is fairly simple. Besides waging wars and making treaties and overseeing trade agreements with other nations, his job is execute and enforce the laws that are passed by the Congress providing that they are deemed to be Constitutional. If the President deems a law passed by Congress as unconstitutional, he is duty bound by his oath not to enforce such law.
  3. If  the president does not enforce a law that the Congress believes is constitutional, the Congress is duty bound by their oath to impeach the President. This is a duty that has rarely been carried out.
  4. If the Supreme court makes a decision that the President deems to be unconstitutional, the President is duty bound by his oath not to enforce that decision. If the Congress deems a decision of the Supreme Court to be unconstitutional, the Congress is duty bound by their oath to impeach the justices who took the unconstitutional decision. How has that been working out for us?
  5. If a President or members of Congress are not ling up to their oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, it is the duty of the people to vote these people out of office and elect people who will live up to their oath. Yes, the ultimate responsibility falls to us and we have shamefully neglected our duties as citizens of the great country.

So, from the above it should be clear how we have come to be in the mess we are in. No branch of government has lived up to their oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. And, We The People, through ignorance or sloth, have not lived up to our civic duties and responsibilities.

Is there no hope for the America our Founders envisioned? Educating 100 million voting age citizens to their constitutional duties as citizens is not going to happen any time soon. But, the good news is that there has been a GREAT AWAKENING in America in the last few years.  At least I hope that “great” is the correct word. Those who belive in the letter of the Constitution; I think that include conservatives and most libertarians, are the biggest voting block in American. Our job si first to educate enough of the “swing voters” to win the Presidency and control of the Senate in 2012. And then to continue electing more and more people who will live up to their oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

I’d like to throw out a thought for you to consider. When vetting candidates for public office at all levels of government but especially at the Federal level, we should be asking these questions:

  1. For a presidential candidate. Do you understand the Constitution of the United States? Will you live up to your oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States? Do you understand tha your oath requires you to not enforce any law or decision of the Supreme Court that is unconstitutional and that if you do enforce any unconstitutional law or unconstitutional decision of the Supreme Court, that you are subject to impeachment?
  2. For House or Senate candidates. Do you understand the Constitution of the United States? Will you live up to your oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States? Do you understand that if the President makes an unconstitutional law through Executive Order or if the President enforces an unconstitutional decision of the Supreme Court, that you are obligate by your oath to impeach the President. If the Supreme Court makes a decision tha the Congress deems unconstitutional, you are obligated by your oath to impeach the Justices that made the unconstitutional decision?

Well, that is what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

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21 thoughts on “Executive Branch Over-Reach _ Legislative Branch Under-Reach _ Judicial Branch Without Control

  1. Really quick before I race away on my trip.. I only have one little bone to pick with this post. I agree with 99.9 % of this, so don’t think I mean to criticize much. It is this line I want to add to..
    “And, We The People, through ignorance or sloth, have not lived up to our civic duties and responsibilities.”

    You are forgetting “fear.” Most people hate confrontation and don’t feel powerful enough (economically or otherwise) to fight the oppressive bureaucracy with jack booted thugs and lawyers. There is little opportunity to fight back and even if you do, look at Gibson Guitars for an example of what happens to people. I think this is the larger reason for government getting away with what they are doing….they have become the “mob” and the people are seriously afraid to fight back. So ignorance and sloth are not the main reasons in my opinion. Fear and and lack of economic resources are the main reasons. The other two you cite are growing, but are results of fear and lack of economic resources…i.e. the system from the early 1900’s onward was set up to create all of these…ignorance through public schools, apathy through disenfranchisement, fear through intimidation (Gibson Guitars), and lack of economic ability to fight back through the deliberate wrecking of economic liberties (most of us by now). Now we have the perfect storm.

    Also…thanks for posting this from Publius! I think it answers my question about enacting the Agenda 21 – RIO Treaty without ratifying it. No branch of government is living up to their duties under the Constitution, as you have said here so well! I’ll come back to this one, when I return from my trip…

    Off and away….
    Keep up the great work while I am gone!!
    Cheryl

    1. You make an excellent point, Cheryl. Fear and/or intimidation should indeed go along with ignorance and sloth as reasons why We The People have not lived up to our duties as citizens. Fear and/or intimidation sure date back to the very beginning to the our country. The Colonists had every reason to fear and not trust government. I doubt they had any reason to feel differently about their new government. Thanks for that input.

  2. A lot of this is a combination of human nature/our beloved press.

    It’s human nature to want a “strong man” to lead us. Our beloved press does its best every election cycle to instill in the citizens the desire for an extraordinary, strong-willed candidate with an agenda, a plan for his presidency. Once they find that man they will promote him. (Especially if the candidate is a Democrat.)

    It’s human nature to justify your existence in some way. Everybody at any job is going to have to justify to his bosses his continued employment. “See, I did this and that…..”

    Whoever is President is no different. Instead of seeing himself as essentially a caretaker they will try to justify themselves to the people by saying “I have a plan. A vision. And I did this and this and that….”

    And the public will go along.

    Sad. But that’s human nature.

    1. What you say, Infidel, reminds of an argument I once made that it was an error to call the Congress and the Senate the ·Legislative” branch. Now, Congressman and Senators think their only job is to write laws. And that is what they have been doing for the last 230 years or so, writing more and more and more laws. The more laws there are, the less freedom we have.

  3. I’m certainly no constitutional scholar, but I’ve read it and have a copy on my desk (somewhere… under printouts I should doubtlessly throw away). I think one of the things we need ASAP when Republicans (solid conservatives) take over is some Constitutional clarification. I’m not talking about amendments, but literally clarification of what certain things already in the Constitution mean, and how they should be interpreted. For example, the commerce clause. We can run back to what the founders said. But wouldn’t it be nice if something with the force of law could put that extremely broadly interpreted clause back into perspective, limiting its meaning? Something like that would go a long way toward undoing all of the regulations that utilize the commerce clause for their excuse, and would prevent the use of it as an excuse in the future.

    It could even be used for something that should be a complete no-brainer, like clarification of “the separation of church and state” where a law could be passed indicating that the first amendment applies to the Federal government establishing an official state religion, and it explicitly states that the Federal government cannot prohibit exercise of religion, which means that just because you don’t believe, you can’t petition to limit other people’s expression of their religion. And, it once and for all time eliminates consideration of Sharia law in the USA.

    I know it is the Supreme Courts’ job to interpret law in accordance with the Constitution, but wouldn’t it be possible for the Congress (and, by his signature, the president) to provide this kind of guidance? You’re not amending anything, but clarifying intention.

    1. I see what you mean,Pat. Your example of freedom of religion is a good one. It is “freedom of religion” not “freedom from religion”. the term “separation of church and state” doesn’t even appear in the Constitution. It came from a letter written by President Thomas Jefferson.

  4. Let’s not forget that the great majority of voters in America – as is true of any other country – are not at all like the people commenting and reading this kind of post. You are all an enlightened bunch whose differences are well argued within the realm of reason.

    But you are not the problem in a Democracy. The problem is “the majority”, and the problem of the “majority” is one: Ignorance. “Ignorance” is the Achilles heel of a Democracy.

  5. Publius Huldah makes a scary amount of sense. Excellent find!

    Unfortunately, DC has turned into a chummy club, where no one would impeach anyone or tell tell a congress to take its unconstitutional law and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

    I think we are indeed in crisis, and not just at the federal level. Many local governments and police forces are out of control and there is nothing anyone can do about it. I know I don’t know what to do…

    1. It is getting very scary indeed. If we still have a chance to save this Republic, it will have to be the 2012 elections, Not only do we have give the boot to Obama and as Many liberals as possible, we have to elect people that believe in the government described in our Constitution. And that is true all the way down to local government. It’s hard to have hope sometimes but what else have we?

  6. Yes, we have drifted far from our constitutional rights and it has taken us many years to get to this point so it is going to be a long return journey. You are right, this is our fault because we allowed it to happen. Before we can really make the journey we must prepare and that preperation is education; we must educate our children so that they understand what America is suppoesed to be. The Tea Party is the beginning and it could be part of a great movement but we will have to weather the storm the Democrats are going to throw at us in this election. They are going to try to bring down the Tea Party as a racist organization and we cannot let that stop us, because if the Tea Party is lost America will be lost.

  7. The burgeoning of the power of the federal government via the federal bureaucracy (aka The Nanny State) gained speed and credence under FDR. Indeed, history shows us that central government’s power grows during times of economic turmoil.

    Educating 100 million voting age citizens to their constitutional duties as citizens is not going to happen any time soon.

    The video I posted today addresses a bit of how we’ve gotten to the point of needing to educate the electorate in the meaning of Constitutionalism.

  8. Most politicians would fail a basic civics test. I think Biden once got confused on the branches of the government. Certainly, he has misstated the contents of the Constitution on several occasions, and he was the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Then we have Rick Perry who has fumbled over both abortion and homosexual marriage because of his poor understanding of the ins and outs of the 10th Amendment versus the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution and the 14th Amendment, and he just wrote a book about the 10th Amendment.
    I would say that we should make all students take a course in civics and government at school, but most high schools and universities in the US already require this. Seems hopeless.

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