Not Mussolinis auto: But it is rule-by-fiat
Recently, some Republicans discovered a copy of the U.S. Constitution hidden in one of the Capitol cloak rooms. The document’s pristine condition suggests it has not been used since the time of President Woodrow Wilson (D).
The Republicans, who are now in control of the House of Representatives, say they are going to read the Constitution out loud to the House. Fortunately, even with the Bill of Rights tacked on, the U.S. Constitution is a model of brevity.
Democrats, who claim the Constitution has never been read to the House, accuse the Republicans of breaking with tradition. Republicans counter by saying passing major legislation, such as ObamaCare, without reading it first was an even more serious break with tradition.
With the Constitution now unearthed, House members might look at the Tenth Amendment which says: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Fancy that.
What the Tenth Amendment means is that the States created the federal government, not the other way around. Oh my! The 112th Congress might discover the federal government has been exceeding its authority ever since the progressivism of Woodrow Wilson.
Following the “shellacking” the voters gave the Democrats on November 2, 2010, many voters complain the recent, Democrat-controlled, lame-duck session could not possibly represent the will of the people. So, watch for the Republicans to suggest repeal of the Twentieth Amendment which says, in part, “…The terms of Senators and Representatives [shall end] at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall begin.” Some think it wrong that the defeated congresspersons are given November and December to do what the voters rejected on Election Day.
Prior to 17th Amendment, ObamaCare, which punishes the States financially to the point 40 States have joined in a lawsuit to have ObamaCare declared unconstitutional, would have been a dead duck. Before the 17 Amendment, U.S. Senators were elected by State legislatures, meaning U.S. Senators worked for their individual States, or else. The unintended consequence of the direct election of U.S. Senators, as instituted by the 17th Amendment, is that some Senators think they work for the federal government and pass legislation harmful to the States from which they come. But please do not hold your breath waiting for repeal of the 17th Amendment.
Further examination of this recently discovered U.S. Constitution may suggest Mr. Obama’s creation, without congressional confirmation, of 39 Czars to run the federal government exceeds the powers assigned to the President in Article II and tramples on the powers reserved to the Congress in Article I.
Many constitutional scholars say the order in which the powers of the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches are listed in the Constitution is an indication of their relative importance as envisioned by the Framers of the Constitution. In other words, the Framers intended for the Congress to be the most important, the Executive Branch to be second in importance and the Judicial Branch to be in last place.
How interesting that the Judicial Branch is now the branch that determines what does or does not happen with the laws passed by the Congress and even by the individual States. That is what makes presidential elections so important. Moreover, he or she who occupies the White House has enormous influence over who gets to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.
So, in effect, the President not only controls the Executive Branch, with its considerable powers, the President’s power to nominate judges to the federal courts at all levels puts Mussolini-like rule-by-Fiat within the grasp of any President who wants to act like a dictator.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2010. William Hamilton.